Evaluate the potential of BRICS in establishing a new global order beyond Western dominance and also discuss the extent to which internal inconsistencies within the bloc may be impeding its collective potential.


The BRICS is projected as an anti-West forum which does not fit into foreign engagements of several members such as India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. The internal contradictions among various members would be a major impediment that could affect the functioning of this grouping in the future.


BRICS, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, represents a coalition of emerging economies. Formed in 2009, BRICS accounts for 42% of global population, 24% of global GDP, and 16% of global trade.

Potential of BRICS in Establishing a New Global Order Beyond Western Dominance:

  • Economic Growth and Influence: BRICS nations have shown remarkable economic growth, contributing significantly to global GDP. Their combined economic power challenges the traditional Western dominance in global economics.
  • Diverse Economic Interests: The group’s diversity in economic interests, from Russia’s energy resources to India and China’s technological advancements, presents a comprehensive economic front.
  • Political Influence: BRICS nations have been forming strategic partnerships and alliances, expanding their influence and challenging the traditional Western-centric geopolitical narratives.
  • Diversification of Global Governance: BRICS advocates for a more inclusive and representative global governance system, challenging the dominance of Western-led institutions like the IMF and World Bank.
  • Alternative Financial Structures: The establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) by BRICS countries offers an alternative to the Western-dominated global financial system.
  • Championing Developing Nations: BRICS serves as a voice for the Global South, pushing for fairer trade practices and economic policies that consider the needs of developing countries.
  • Technological and Industrial Growth: With significant advancements in technology and industry, BRICS nations contribute to global innovation, offering alternatives to Western technological dominance.
  • Despite its potential, BRICS faces internal inconsistencies that hinder its effectiveness.

Extent of the BRICS Collective Potential Compromised by Internal Inconsistencies:

  • Divergent Political Ideologies: The varied political ideologies of member countries, from democracies to authoritarian regimes, create friction in forming a unified front.
  • Economic Disparities: among member countries, such as the contrast between China’s economic might and the smaller economies of Brazil and South Africa, create imbalances within the group.
  • Bilateral Tensions: Existing bilateral tensions, such as the border disputes between India and China, impede the coalition’s ability to present a united front.
  • Varied Global Alignments: such as India’s closeness to the West and Russia’s and China’s opposition to it, further complicate BRICS’ collective agenda.
  • Inconsistent Commitment to Multilateralism: in the member countries respective foreign policies weakens the group’s stance.
  • Poor Intra-BRICS Trade: highlights lack of economic linkages, hindering effective economic integration.
  • Limited People-to-People Engagements: Cultural and linguistic differences, coupled with a lack of institutional frameworks for exchange, result in minimal understanding between nations.
    • Limited interaction between India and Brazil.

Measures Needed to Realize BRICS Potential:

  • Resolving Bilateral Disputes: among member nations, ensuring these conflicts do not hinder BRICS collaboration.
  • Respecting Mutual Aspirations and Security Concerns: fostering a supportive and cohesive environment within BRICS.
  • Enhancing Economic Linkages: through initiatives like the BRICS Business Council, promoting trade, investment, and regulatory harmonization.
  • Encourage Cultural and Educational Exchanges: particularly through student exchange programs, to deepen mutual understanding among BRICS countries.
  • Enhancing Institutional Capacities: Strengthening the NDB and CRA to provide viable alternatives to Western financial institutions.

For BRICS to realize its full potential, member countries need to find common ground and work towards harmonizing their economic and political strategies, ensuring that internal differences do not overshadow their collective goals.

‘+1’ Value Addition:

During 15th BRICS summit at Johannesburg, membership was expanded from five to eleven countries giving rise to a reenergized BRICS+ 6 framework. The expanded membership of the BRICS too comes with bilateral disputes. Among the new members, there is friction between Egypt and Ethiopia, Iran and the UAE, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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