||In this short piece, I return to the articles in this special issue to examine the relationship between the material reality of the concept of BRICs and its symbolic place in the world economy today. Aside from the facts that the BRIC countries have been ready to depart from the Washington consensus on certain key elements (state intervention), while maintaining other aspects (fiscal discipline), there isnít much support for the notion that these countries somehow share specific development strategies. If anything, the papers in this special issue show that these four countries have rather different etiologies of growth. The notion of BRICs, I argue, is thus better apprehended through its symbolic and political dimensions, as an effort by well-placed actors in the financial markets to drum up excitement about investment opportunities, as well as reorient the governance structures of the world economy away from the traditional stronghold of Europe.
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