Andrew F. Cooper on the BRICS: Past, Present and Future

Hosted by Alan Alexandroff


The leader-led BRICS forum has received much attention in the international relations. Initiated as an acronym in 2001 by Jim O’Neill at Goldman Sachs to capture a set of large emerging market economies with high growth potential – Brazil, Russia, India and China – Russian officials organized this group first as informal gatherings of the Foreign Ministers and then in 2009 the first leaders’ summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Leaders’ summits have continued from that point forward. Notably in 2011 at the China Sanya Summit, South Africa was invited to join the BRICS which went from the BRICs to the BRICS. Notwithstanding much skepticism by observers over the many divergent views of this leaders forum the BRICS have continued to meet, to enhance their intra-BRICS activities from security to education and to build institutions including the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). With the able assistance of Andrew Cooper, we explore the evolution of the BRICS in global governance. We also explore where this BRICS summit may be going.

Andrew is a Professor of Political Science at Waterloo University. He has written a great deal around the ‘Rise of the Informals’ including a volume on the G20 with Ramesh Thakur (The Group of Twenty (G20), 2012), Rising States, Rising Institutions with Alan Alexandroff, eds. (2010), and more recently: BRICS: A Very Short Introduction (2016). He also has a written a great deal on modern diplomacy including The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy with Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur, eds. (2013), Celebrity Diplomacy (2007), and Diplomatic Alternatives (2014).

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