BRICS – New Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Reality of The Early XXI century

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Baku, Jule 16, 2014 –

The world history of the last two hundred years has known many examples of temporary establishment of all sorts of inter-state military-political formations. Be it the anti-Napoleon coalitions of the leading European powers in the beginning of the XIX century, Entente and Triple Alliance of the XX century or the anti-Comintern and anti-Hitler coalitions of the allied nations during the WWII that were strictly military-political and served the interests of the nations concerned. Something similar was observed during the "Cold War” when such regional military-political blocks as NATO, Warsaw Pact, CTO, SEATO, ANZUS and others were established.

''Cold'' West-East geopolitical standoff embodied by NATO and Warsaw Pact when, as the quote the French sociologist Raymond Aron reads ''the peace is impossible and war is improbable'', ultimately led to the collapse of the bi-polar world in the end of the XX century and leaving two options – unipolar (given the dominance of the U.S.) and multipolar world order.

Modern realities however, given direct military-political collision of the leading powers is practically unrealistic, have prompted new forms of international relations with dominating role of the geopolitical interests, intertwined with classic geopolitical space factors, indeed of latent nature. Frantic search of the rightful place in the system of modern international relations by major "offended'' subjects of world politics led to formation of new inter-state unions with common or similar social-economic grievances and objectives of future dynamic growth (Eurasian Economic Union, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others).

By far the largest and most influential of those – BRICS – comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is made of countries located on three continents and capable of competing in the long-term with the ''G-8'' nations. Not the least of geopolitical factors is the fact that currently BRICS accounts for 26 percent of the planet’s territory and 42 percent of the world’s population. According to World Bank, the combined GDP of the BRICS nations equaled to $15.75 trillion or 18 percent of world’s GDP. Total population of the five countries stands at 3 billion. Moreover, in the last decade, 2003-2013, the economy of the BRICS has grown 4.2 times, whereas that of the developed nations increased by 61%. Goldman Sachs estimates that by 2050, combined economies of this group of nations will exceed the volume of the economies of the world’s richest nations, members of the G-7, altogether.

All in all, with the advent of the new century, the establishment of BRICS is a reflection of an emerging trend in the world’s development towards formation of a polycentric system of international relations.

Yet, not everything is as smooth as it may seem at first glance. Existence of certain contradictions between the member countries of this alliance, especially Sino-Indian territorial disputes, lack of cohesion on foreign policy issues, feeble economic interdependence, rather vast space division, "hostile” position of the Western powers fancying BRICS’s collapse and a number of other factors preclude regarding of this alliance as something of a full-fledged alternative to NATO or European Union.

Nonetheless, the next BRICS Summit (15-16 July 2014, Brazil) foresees the establishment of a Development Bank with a capital of $100 billion, enlargement of the alliance thanks to the membership of Argentina, addressing of pressing problems of modernity and some other questions pertaining to bilateral and multilateral relations between the member states. Its geopolitical and geoeconomic implications for the world politics will be known in the near future.

Parvin Darabadi

D.Sc. (Hist.), Professor

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