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Flemes, Daniel (2013) Network Powers: strategies of change in the multipolar system. Third World Quarterly Vol. 34, No. 6: 1016-1036.

The multipolarity of the 21st century is fundamentally different from that of its harbingers because in the past decade change and innovation have been induced through sites of negotiation and by the establishment of intergovernmental foreign policy networks. New powers like Brazil, China and India have gained relative weight thanks to their status as agenda setters, brokers and coalition builders. This paper examines the relevance of different foreign policy networks such as India–Brazil–South Africa (IBSA) and Brazil–South Africa–India–China (BASIC) for their strategic approaches and argues that they are crucial vehicles for their ascension. Drawing on the work of Hafner-Burton et al, who raised the question of how states increase their power by enhancing their network positions, a typology of foreign policy networks is proposed: mediation, advocacy and substitution networks play important roles in today’s shifting global order. The paper analyses how the different network types work together and how particular states have adapted better to the new environment than others.

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