BRICS, Energy and the New World Order

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Series Details 28.08.12
Publication Date 16/02/2015
ISBN 978-82-7002-328-8
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When a Goldman Sachs executive introduced the ‘BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China) acronym in 2001, it was an innovative move, since continued success could not be taken for granted for all of the countries: only China and India had sustained high growth in the 1990s. Time has shown that the bet was a safe one: the BRIC constellation has been a rising star. In 2010, the category expanded to BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa, thereby covering all the major developing continents. BRICS is still in the making as an institution, but it may be here to stay, with annual summits held since 2009 and a stronger role in global governance through the G-20.

In the geopolitics of energy, the BRICS play several roles, with increasing weight and significance. As large nations with rapid growth, the BRICS are increasingly important as suppliers or consumers of energy (Chapter 1). As emerging economies, they are part of a broader process of reallocation in the world economy, with a ‘New World Order’ emerging and energy affected via GDP growth, new trade patterns and transport-related energy demand (Chapter 2). In this emerging new order, the BRICS are also challenging the old powers in the field of security, and Chapter 3 examines the related implications for energy. While the old world was – at least in the economic field – a ‘hub-and-spoke’ system with Western Europe and North America at the core, a new pattern is emerging with increasing interaction along the rim. As an illustration of these new patterns, Chapter 4 examines the role of China and India in Africa, with the focus on energy and governance.

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