International Relations

The BRICS put India’s multipolar rhetoric to the test

  • The importance of India’s position in the next BRICS summit in South Africa from August 22 to 24 highlights the country’s developing diplomatic problems and possible impact on global geopolitics.
  • India is once again actively participating on the global geopolitical stage. With the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit approaching, India finds itself at a crossroads in foreign diplomacy. This summit not only tests the waters of Indian diplomacy, but it also provides insight into the future of world geopolitics.

Everything you need to know about the BRICS.

  • BRICS is an acronym representing the world’s leading rising economies, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • The acronym ‘BRIC’ was coined by British economist Jim O’Neill to designate the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. He established a case for BRIC based on econometric calculations, predicting that the four economies will occupy significantly more economic space and become among the world’s largest economies.
  • The significance of the BRICS is self-evident: it accounts for 42% of the global population, 30% of geographical area, 24% of global GDP, and 16% of international trade.
  • The five BRICS countries are also G-20 members.

Global governance difficulties and the role of the BRICS

  • Global Governance Errors: The shortcomings and undemocratic practises of global governance are well established. Institutional failings have been exacerbated by a lack of representation.
  • BRICS as a Solution: BRICS has the ability to fill the institutional hole created by present global governance flaws. Despite flaws, the BRICS could improve global governance.
  • Discontent in the Global South: Interest from 40 nations in expanding the BRICS demonstrates global South countries’ dissatisfaction with their global stature.

Making use of the BRICS in an uncertain global order

  • In the Face of Geopolitical Uncertainty, the BRICS: In the midst of geopolitical instability, the BRICS can assist countries in navigating complicated global developments. This is clear in the context of the Ukraine conflict and the rising of China.
  • BRICS’ Importance: Recent events, such as the Ukraine war and China’s rise, have highlighted the relevance of the BRICS.
  • The BRICS and Conflicting Interests: While the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are unlikely to provide democratic global administration, they may spark discussions about inclusivity.
  • Imperfect Institutions Have Value: Imperfect forums are preferable to a centralised, antiquated framework; modern global governance should reflect current circumstances.

Geopolitical choices and challenges for India

  • India’s Geopolitical Position: India’s geopolitical choices are complex, and its place in global geopolitics is unknown.
  • Non-Western engagement Rationale: India’s engagement in non-western forums such as the BRICS and the SCO comes from post-World War II institutional imbalances.
  • Balancing Multiple Affiliations: Due to historical, developmental, and geographical circumstances, India is a member of the BRICS, SCO, and the global South.
  • Balancing China’s Presence: As India wishes to participate in the G-20, G-7, and Quad, China’s dominance in BRICS and other forums offers obstacles.
  • India’s Geopolitical Dilemma: India is balancing interests and affinities at a rising geopolitical faultline.

Rival blocs and India’s strategy

  • The Rise of Competing Blocs: When China and Russia align against the United States, they risk forming competing blocs that undermine the existing quo.
  • India has consistently opposed bloc politics in favour of equitable global governance and multipolarity.
  • Despite its opposition, India may be dragged into bloc dynamics due to complicated geopolitical circumstances.

China’s Global Ascension and India’s Decisions

  • India’s China Dilemma: India must consider whether pursuing a multipolar world benefits China’s global expansion.
  • Global Forums’ Impact: Strong global forums may inadvertently boost China’s worldwide influence, influencing India’s choices.
  • Balancing Geopolitical Forces: India must balance its commitment to egalitarian global governance with the protection of its own interests.
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