Abdenur, Adriana Erthal and Maiara Folly (2015) “The New Development Bank and the Institutionalization of the BRICS” R/evolutions 3:1, pp 66-95.
Abstract: The BRICS – a loose coalition currently comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – was formed with the overarching goal of pushing for global governance reform. The initiative has been met with a wide variety of reactions, from optimism concerning its ability to foster systemic change to strong skepticism regarding the capacity of five vastly different states to agree upon a common agenda and undertake long-term commitments. In this paper, we analyze the BRICS´s New Development Bank, announced in 2014 at the sixth BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. More specifically, we examine the significance of this step for institutionalization of the BRICS coalition in light of three criteria: the creation of a coherent bureaucracy; the new institution’s degree of social embeddedness; and the formation of a normative platform. We argue that, at least according to the first two criteria, the bank project helps to make the BRICS more than the sum of its parts, granting it a collective agency that its members individually do not possess. However, the bank’s function as a normative platform is still uncertain, and the NDB’s contribution to the institutionalization of the BRICS is constrained to the field of international development.
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