Global Governance Spotlight 6|2015

BRICS. A realistic alternative for global reforms?

Herbert Wulf

August 2015; 4 pages

Global Governance Spotlight 6|2015 (pdf)

The latest summit of the heads of state or government of the five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - on 8-9 July 2015 in the Russian city of Ufa attracted very little attention in the West. Has BRICS’s significance weakened recently, or has their global political and economic weight been underestimated? This question is discussed by Professor Herbert Wulf in our Global Governance Spotlight 6|2015. Wulf identifies BRICS' criticism of a whole range of global power relations as the driving force for the club. He urges the West to take the activities of the BRICS seriously and to work jointly towards a new balance in the global order. While there is no question mark over BRICS' economic importance, Wulf sees a need for the BRICS to catch up in the field of global security and peace issues.

Particularly after the contentious NATO-led intervention in Libya in 2011, established and emerging powers are pit against each other in the debate regarding intervention for the protection of individuals’ human rights. While established powers prioritize intervention and see military force as a useful tool, emerging and postcolonial states see non-intervention as a crucial guarantee of their autonomy, and favour non-military means of assistance. In the current Global Governance Spotlight Prof Dr Kai Michael Kenkel argues why the support of both, states from the Global North and South, is necessary to re-establish the legitimacy and effectiveness of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) and gives recommendations how the debate might be invigorated.


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