The international political dimension has been going through extraordinary shifts since World War II. After the decolonisation process and the creation of many sovereign but dependent new states, came the Cold War that bipolarised the world. From 1989 to 2000 the world had undergone a short period of US hyper-hegemony that finally led to multilateralism, characterised by the new emergence of developing countries economic powers (BRICs), capable to compete and defeat part of the supremacy of the West. The era has also undergone a global war and natural hazard have increasingly had important toll on societies.
Countries such as BRIC and the Asian Easter tigers have been on equal footing economically and in some cases in a better position to negotiate bilaterally with the western countries. Their influence has been quite important at regional level but comparatively modest in the global arena. They are politically more forward looking than outward looking while the Western powers exploit equally both features.
As it was stated in the lecture, we are in a post modernist era. Growth appears not to be unlimited whilst inequality increase and access to technology progress no longer in different parts of the globe but also within countries. China and India both have the largest number of billionaires and acute poverty cases and own the debts of the western and Asian countries. Their economies have grown more strongly than expected but their GNI is still very low. Poverty has reduced quite substantially but economic growth and not equity is on the top of their government agenda.
The BRICs potential and the reality are very distinctive. They are facing internal economic political and social hardship whilst the world is facing energy and water shortage, increasing problem of pollution and climate change. The capacity of the BRICS to influence global dynamics will depend very much on their ability to maintain growth supportive policies (Goldman Sachs, 2005). Gu and Humpherey (2007) expose a point that worries me particularly. Realist theory suggests that the rise of a new global power will sooner or later result in a conflictual balance of power. How to bring together cooperation between China, India and the West can be problematic. Reaching international stability for the good of national prosperity is a win-win situation as it has always been in the mind of sovereign states but the rule is regularly breached due to internal and/or external tension. The challenge also lies in the fact that the consideration as Alden and Vieira (2005) argue that the collision of the emerging powers of the third world have demonstrated little commitment in representing regional interests collectively. The system seems to work on economic rather than ideological sphere but each member do not benefit from it the same ways. The alliance has been reached on disagreement against globalisation rather than sets of policies looking for constructive engagement helping to deal with global challenge
This session has given me the urge to read more about the BRICs, especially China India and Brazil. I want to be able to better understand how a world composed of a Chinese hegemonic power, global interdependence, strategic old powers and emerging developing countries regional powers can interact. It will help me to better position my global analysis. In the next assignment, rather than writing about failed states as planned, I will write about BRICs and N11 capacity to change the international balance of power.