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Publication Details

Mielniczuk, Fabiano  (2013) Brics in the Contemporary World: Changing identities, converging interests. Third World Quarterly : 1-17.

This paper aims to address the reasons why the acronym BRICS is moving from being an easy marker to guide foreign investors interested in emerging markets to denoting an important political group of countries determined to promote major changes in international relations. Theoretically the paper draws on social constructivism to demonstrate that the changing identities of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) can be treated as the main cause of the convergence of their interests in the international arena. Through a detailed analysis of these countries’ statements at the opening sessions of the UN General Assembly from 1991 to 2011, their social claims about themselves are retraced and the way they have judged the international sphere in which they engage is captured, in order to demonstrate the changing character of their identities. These new identities, it is argued, created the opportunity for converging interests, which explains the emerging political structure of BRICS. The paper concludes that, after four major summits and a significant number of wide-ranging low-level meetings, BRICS might be considered one of the major long-lasting forces shaping the new architecture of international relations in the 21st century.

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