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Publication Details

Reference
Armijo, Leslie Elliott  (2007) THE BRICS COUNTRIES (BRAZIL, RUSSIA, INDIA, AND CHINA) AS ANALYTICAL CATEGORY: MIRAGE OR INSIGHT?. ASIAN PERSPECTIVE Vol. 31, No. 4: 7-42.

Summary
American hegemony has passed its peak. The twentyfirst
century will see a more multipolar international system.
Yet Western European countries may not be the United
States’ main foils in upcoming decades. Four new poles of the
international system are now known in the business and
financial press as the “BRICs economies” (Brazil, Russia,
India, and China). Does the concept of “the BRICs” also have
meaning within a rigorous political science framework? From
the perspective of neoclassical economics, the category’s justification
is surprising ly weak. In contrast, a political or economic
realist’s framing instructs the United States to focus on
states that are increasing their relative material capabilities, as
each of the four is. Finally, within a liberal institutionalist’s
model, the BRICs are a compelling set, yet one with a deep
cleavage between two subgroups: large emerging powers
likely to remain authoritarian or revert to that state, and states
that are securely democratic.

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