International Institute for Asian Studies


Call for papers

BRICS and the rise of Asia

Paris, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, March 13, 2019
Le Havre, Université Le Havre Normandie, March 14-15, 2019

The conference is open to individual and group paper presentations. Those willing to present their papers are invited to submit their proposals from November 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019. The selected proposals will be communicated to their authors between December 2018 and February 2019.

In July 2018, under the presidency of South Africa, the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) held their 10th summit of coordination in Johannesburg. In their Final Declaration, the Heads of State and Government first expressed satisfaction with the positive results achieved by this international body in the first decade of activity and defined new growth strategies to be implemented in the next decade, starting already in 2019, during which the rotating presidency is entrusted to Brazil.

Against all forecasts, which were also widespread among many authoritative experts and analysts, in the last few years the BRICS coordination has not weakened nor dissolved. On the contrary, the coordination has been consolidated and this despite the great political, economic and social differences between the member states, the lack of territorial contiguity, the negative effects of the last great economic-financial crisis that has affected some states, the very ambitious level of their ultimate goals which are: the creation of a new world order, more balanced and fairer in its development dynamics, and the promotion of a new multilateralism in the world governance system.

Launched in 2006 on the basis of informal meetings promoted between Brazil, China, India and Russia, the coordination was formally established in 2009 — initially as BRIC — at the first summit held in Ekaterinburg (Russia) and subsequently in the 2011 has been expanded, as BRICS, to the participation of South Africa. In particular, the last summits have clarified well the terms of their strategy. For example: the 7th summit of 2015 (Ufa, Russia) made it clear that the coordination of the BRICS does not intend to operate “against” the current international institutions and bodies, such as the United Nations and the G20 summits, but, on the contrary “for”, that is, in favour of a collaboration aimed at overcoming the major imbalances in world development; the 8th 2016 summit (Goa, India) helped define the terms of the internal collaboration between the BRICS states; the 9th summit (Xiamen, China) approved the BRICS Plus strategy, for the enlargement of the structure to respond as good as possible to the requests for collaboration and in some cases of membership from other states and international platforms outside the coordination.

The session offers the interested participants the opportunity to deepen the BRICS evolutionary process, reflect on the opportunities they offer, help to find answers to the main open questions, which are:

1) The 10th Johannesburg Summit promoted a strong commitment of the coordination throughout the African continent. Will 2019, with the BRICS presidency of Brazil, start a similar process for Latin America too? The question is linked to two factors: a) the novelty of the Brazilian political situation and b) the objective need to build a better, more coordinated and incisive presence of the Latin American economy in international markets.

2) The BRICS institutional set-up, which currently refers mainly to two economic structures — the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) — is adequate to allow the BRICS to play an effective role on the international scene?

3) How can BRICS combine the protection of their internal interests with the need to reform the current global development model? This requires a careful analysis and evaluation of the relationship between the commitments officially assumed, in the summits declarations and in the numerous sectoral agreements, and concrete achievements; a useful analysis to understand how the BRICS intend to play really their role as global actor, for different and more balanced processes of common growth
(Marco Ricceri, Secretary General, EURISPES Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies, Rome, Italy).