The BRICS: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198723394

Andrew F. Cooper
160 Pages
112 x 174 mm
Pub date
Apr 2016
Very Short Introductions


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  • Provides an informative, analytical and comprehensive overview of the BRICS
  • Addresses a wide range of issues concerning the BRICS in our contemporary political landscape
  • Offers an explanation of what the BRICS have been able to accomplish as a hybrid club, forum, and lobby group in global politics, and their potential trajectory going forwards

In the wake of the post-Cold War era, the aftermath of 9/11, the 2008 global financial crisis, and the emergence of the G20 at the leaders level, few commentators expected a reshaping of the global system towards multipolarity, and away from the United States. And yet, the BRICS - encompassing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - has emerged as a challenge to the international status quo. But what is its capacity as a transformative force? And can it provide a significant counter-narrative to the Western dominated global order? 
In this Very Short Introduction Andrew Cooper explores the emergence of the BRICS as a concept. Drawing on historical precedent, Cooper provides a contemporary analysis of the BRICS' practice and influence as as a forum and a lobby group in advancing a distinctive but amorphous agenda amongst global politics.


1: Framing the BRICS
2: A contested invention: The BRIC, BRICs, and the BRICS
3: A historical departure
4: Hanging together
5: Building the new development bank
6: BRICS as the recognition of states, not societies
7: The staying power of the BRICS
Further Reading

About the author: 

Andrew F. Cooper is Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo, Canada. He is the Director for the Centre for Studies on Rapid Global Change, University of Waterloo; Associate Senior Fellow, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg, Germany; and Associate Research Fellow-UNU CRIS (Institute on Comparative Regional Integration), Bruges, Belgium. His books include The Group of Twenty (G20) (Routledge, 2013)

"Cooper's very short introduction on the BRICS grouping indeed fills an important niche, providing a solid overview which can be read in a few hours and includes all the basic information." - Post-Western World

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