A First Meeting at Yekaterinburg

For me Yekaterinburg evokes Russian history and the events of the Russian Revolution. But it now calls forth a different, and much more contemporary event. On May 16th, the 4 Foreign Ministers of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and Mexico) met together formally for the first time. As we have pointed out in these blog posts, the time would seem to raise critical questions on the evolution and integration of the BRICs and B(R)ICSAM into new or reformed organizations and institutions of global and regional governance. In recent blog posts we’ve begun to report on Distinguished CIGI Fellow, Andy Cooper’s economic diplomacy Project examining the path of interaction and possible enlargement of the G7/8 with the structured dialogue of the Heiligendamm Process (HP). Discussions abound over the possible creation of any of the following: the G9 or 10 or G13 or an earlier enlargement the L20. These are exciting global governance possibilities Continue reading

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Declinism

The conversation about BRICSAM takes place against the backdrop of assessments about the international system. And the problem is that there is an ever-present cottage industry extrapolating from short terms dynamics to make sweeping generalizations about the course of the history, and it is typically wrong. Put differently, we are experiencing yet another wave of declinism.

In the late 1950s, the fear was that US was being overtaken by the Soviet Union. Sputnik signaled the inadequacy of American science and high Soviet growth rates (contrasted with anemic US growth and three Eisenhower recessions) would eventually mean that Soviet GNP would exceed that of the US.

Beginning in 1970 with Herman Kahn’s The emerging Japanese superstate, Americans were subjected to two decades Continue reading

Brazil In or Out Part II

Just before I get to Brazil, I want to let readers know that through some technological blogging magic, we are able here at Rising BRICSAM to allow guest contributors to add blog posts. Look for my colleague Art Stein, Professor of Political Science, UCLA to guest contribute very shortly. Hopefully others will follow where appropriate. And now back to Brazil.

In an earlier blog post I examined the economic leverage that Brazil brings to the table. Looking principally at Denise Gregory and Paulo Roberto de Almeida’s Brazil chapter – “Brazil and the G8 Heiligendamm Process,” (I apologize to Paulo. In an earlier blog post I identified him with CEBRI where his co-author Denise is the Executive Director but he is formally, Diplomat and Professor at Uniceub, Brasilia) a research chapter in Andy Cooper’s CIGI Project on Economic Diplomacy and specifically on the Heligendamm Process and the O5. In addition, I took note as well of the Brazil Chapter from the Continue reading

Definitions and Scope of International Organizations and Institutions

Global governance is a major question surrounding the Rising BRICSAM at least as we see it at the BRICSAM Community Portal. It’s necessary to understand the organizational and institutional history of global organizations and institutions to appreciate fully the possible roles of BRICSAM. A useful article to aid such understanding comes from my old friend (and I do mean old since the friendship goes back to the world of Cornell undergraduate in the ‘Age of Revolution.’) Arthur A. Stein at UCLA. In his “Neoliberal Institutionalism” appearing in the forthcoming (in fact Amazon is telling me that it will be out in September) Oxford Handbook on International Relations (full cite below) undertakes an intellectual history of international organizations. Early on Art makes clear the evolution and path of the subfield of international organization. As he argues, “The original post-1945 focus was on international organizations, concrete entities with a physical presence – names, addresses, etc. …This rather narrow conceptualization was broadened with a focus on regimes, defined Continue reading

The US Element in the Global Governance Equation

A number of us were fortunate enough to join host Steve Paikin in his public affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin discussing the ‘heady’ topic of international order. Steve by-the-way, for any of you conversant with the world of public intellectual inquiry is Canada’s answer to Charlie Rose (And I might add, just as cute). Anyway, with producer Daniel Kitts leading the charge, three of the chapter authors from Can the World be Governed? Possibilities for Effective Multilateralism joined Steve for an hour of discussion and debate on this topic. The group included Dick Rosecrance, Harvard University, Dan Drezner, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, Patricia Goff from CIGI and Wilfrid Continue reading

Brazil: In or Out – Part I

It’s a persistent question – is this new large emerging economy a member of the group – Rising BRICSAM – and if so, how? Brazil is frequently subjected to this inquiry. Paulo Sotero and Leslie Elliott Amijo undertook exactly that inquiry in the formerly mentioned Asian Perspective on the BRICS. The article by Paulo Sotero and Leslie Elliott Armijo, “Brazil: To be or not to be a BRIC?” pp. 43-70. An equally insightful analysis on Brazil has been prepared recently for Continue reading

Russia and the Conundrum of B(R)ICSAM

It’s difficult situating Russia in the context of the BRICs and BRICSAM. Various articles seem to stumble in their effort to place Russia in the correct circle of influence. As far back as first CIGI Policy Brief in International Governance, (May, 2007) (the date tells you it’s not that long ago) Andy Cooper, CIGI Distinguished Fellow, tackled the curious place of Russia. The title of his piece raised the question of Russia’s leadership position – “The Logic of the B(R)ICSAM Model for G8 Reform.” Though the Brief focused principally on adequacey of the G7/8 governance, the rather unique term raised, not for the first time the place of Russia in the G7/8 as well as in BRICSAM. Russia evidences multiple identities. It is a member Continue reading

Including ASEAN

As I have argued in previous blog posts, regional entities are unique organizational and institutional elements of contemporary international relations. How we take them into account remains a question. In my view, they could represent significant new ‘state’ actors in the global and regional governance architecture.

And so we have included ASEAN in CIGI’s expanded BRICs constellation – BRICSAM. Paul Bowles, an economist at the University of Northern British Columbia (yes, there is such an institution – at Prince George and through the north and I am assured by Paul it is quite beautiful) has undertaken an examination of ASEAN in the context of CIGI Andy Cooper’s Economic Diplomacy Project (ably assisted by Agata Antkiewicz – Research Coordinator). This Project focuses Continue reading

Unique 21st Century Regionalism

Regional organizations and institutions are significant aspects of governance and multilateralism in global relations. Certainly, in the recent past much attentioin has been focused on the growth and consequences of regional trade organizations – NAFTA, the EU and the spaghetti bowl of other small and large regional trade agreements and organizations. But there has been, and continues to be, regional political and security organizations as well. The granddaddy of the them all is the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) – that bridges the North American-Europe divide. But there are a host of more than bilateral agreements that dot the regional landscape and create regional Continue reading

The Meaning and Possibilities of ‘Big’

In Second World Parag Khanna declared early in the Introduction – “Big is Back.” Now as I pointed out earlier, this reference was to a main element of his analysis that three ‘Empires’ – the United States, the EU and China now concentrate power in the world. As Khanna suggests, “These two [China and the EU] are the world’s three natural empires: each geographically unified and militarily, economically, and demographically strong enough to expand.” I’ve already noted that Parag’s choice of Empire is unfortunate and raises images and imples motivation and behaviors that are inapt, though Continue reading