South Africa and the BRICS: A Critical Appraisal

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South Africa and the BRICS: A critical appraisal

Michael Omondi Owiso and Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt
The objective of the BRICS was originally supposed to merge economic synergies and create an alternative voice in the global governance system. Debates around the ability of the BRICS to acquire this clout continue to dominate academia and the global discourse. Although the alliance is still in its nascent stage, scholarly attention is increasingly looking at its internal dynamics. The inclusion of South Africa being the smallest economy in the BRICS was indeed an effort to consolidate its image and unleash the developmental potential for the rest of the African continent.
Comparably, South Africa is probably the least influential member of the BRICS, and this raises the following questions. First, how does South Africa´s affiliation impact on the development and benefits regarding creating institutional capabilities to distribute resources efficiently for the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa? Second, what is South Africa´s place and role within the BRICS and does the country have the political as well as economic muscle to influence the direction of the BRICS? This paper takes a critical look at South Africa´s role within the BRICS and investigates whether the emerging material capabilities as a whole have increased institutional and ideational influence in the BRICS itself and more generally regarding whether this has led to a reconfiguration of global governance institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date27 Jul 2016
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2016
EventThe Politics of Inequality: The Impact of the Welfare States and Policies on Labor, Work and Poverty - Poznan, Poland
Duration: 23 Jul 201628 Jul 2016
Conference number: 24


ConferenceThe Politics of Inequality
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