The BRICS: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press
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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. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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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)
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Apr 28, 2016
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9780191035043
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Forty-five prominent scholars engage in self-critical, state-of-the-art reflection on international studies to stimulate debates about successes and failures and to address the larger question of progress in the discipline. Written especially for the collection, these essays are in hardcover in the form of an easy-to-use handbook, and in paperback as a number of separate titles, each of which consists of a particular thematic cluster to merge with the range of topics taught in undergraduate and graduate courses in international studies.

The themes addressed are realism, institutionalism, critical perspectives, feminist theory and gender studies, methodology (formal modeling, quantitative, and qualitative), foreign policy analysis, international security and peace studies, and international political economy.

This collection provides an accessible and wide-ranging survey of the issues in the field as well as an invaluable bibliography, and will undoubtedly determine the shape of future research in international studies for the millennium.

Paperbacks for course adoption:

Realism and Institutionalism in International Studies
Michael Brecher and Frank P. Harvey, Editors

Conflict, Security, Foreign Policy, and International Political Economy:Past Paths and Future Directions in International Studies
Michael Brecher and Frank P. Harvey, Editors

Evaluating Methodology in International Studies
Frank P. Harvey and Michael Brecher, Editors

Critical Perspectives in International Studies
Frank P. Harvey and Michael Brecher, Editors

Contributors are: Steve J. Brams, Davis B. Bobrow, Michael Cox, Robert W. Cox, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Joseph M. Grieco, Ernst B. Haas , Peter M. Haas, Kal J. Holsti, Ole R. Holsti, Patrick James, Robert O. Keohane, Edward A. Kolodziej, Louis Kriesberg Robert T. Kudrle, David A. Lake, Yosef Lapid, Russell Leng , Jack S. Levy, L. H. M. Ling, Zeev Maoz, Lisa L. Martin, John J. Mearsheimer, Manus I. Midlarsky, Linda B. Miller, Helen Milner , Michael Nicholson, Joseph Nye, V. Spike Peterson , Jan Jindy Pettman, James Lee Ray , James Rosenau, Harvey Starr, J. David Singer, Steve Smith, Christine Sylvester, J. Ann Tickner, John Vasquez, Yaacov Y. I. Vertzberger, R. B. J. Walker, Stephen G. Walker , Jonathan Wilkenfeld, Oran Young, Marysia Zalewski, and Dina A. Zinnes.

Michael Brecher is R. B. Angus Professor of Political Science, McGill University, and former president of the International Studies Association.

Frank P. Harvey is Professor of Political Science and Director, Center for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University.

Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer. That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.
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