The emergence of the BRICs as a counter force to western hegemony was one that shocked and surprised the world. The astounding economic powers found within Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa has made its mark and continues to defy international boundaries in a way developing countries had not done before. More recently it has been announced that the BRICs will be creating a new development bank with its headquarters in Shanghai to assist in the development of Less Economically Developed countries (The Guardian, 2014).
The idea of this new bank is to counter the World Bank, which is led by the United States and western European countries. Its aim is to provide an alternative for such; one where developing countries have easier access to loans, without such harsh conditions and delimitation in their own policymaking (The Guardian, 2014). The creation of the new development bank could be the alternative that developing countries need in order to make significant progress within their own borders and become truly competitive within the new global economy.
Underdeveloped countries have found themselves trapped in this situation for decades and a bank founded by emerging economies could prove to be the best solution. Following the end of the Second World War the World Bank took -and still takes- control of financially assisting countries in the development process, however, in most cases, this has been seen as hindering such nations as opposed to aiding them. Rao and Woolcock state that the reason for this is because, while the Development Economics Research Group (DERG)- the body within the World Bank that analysis countries and “attends” to their specific needs- has a marred perception of development as it only focuses on economics (2007). This argument is strengthen by Craig and Porter’s view that the ideas put forth through Poverty and Social inclusion are used merely to implement liberal reforms within national institutions and are done so because the policies created are ‘actively managed from the top down’, ultimately harming underdeveloped countries (2005). This is further seen with the association-created by economists- between Poverty and the Third World, the simple term ‘poverty’ creates a clear division between who needs to be reformed and who is being reformed, causing a rift between the two and a bipolarity that sees the other as inferior and savage, consequently incapable of achieving ‘development’ (Escobar, 1995).
The BRICs, however, showed the world that underdeveloped countries can in fact become powerful entities within the International System and have an important role to play and are now hoping to facilitate the way for other LEDCs.
Luísa H Castro
Craig, D. & Porter, D.. (2005). The third way and the third world: poverty reduction and social inclusion strategies in the rise of ‘inclusive’ liberalism. Review of International Political Economy. [online]. 12 (2), 226-263. Available at: http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/566/835060/POI3353_Craig_Review_of_International_Political_Economy.pdf. [Accessed on: 12 December 2014].
Escobar, A (1995). Encountering Development: the making and unmaking of the Third World . [online]. Oxfordshire: Princeton University Press. pp.21-54. Available at: https://www.dawsonera.com/abstract/9781400839926. [Accessed on: 10 December 2014].
Gumede, W.. (2014). The Brics development bank can release Africa from World Bank tyranny. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/17/brics-development-bank-africa-world-bank-tyranny. [Accessed on: 16 December 2014].
Rao, V. & Woolcock, M. (2007). ‘The Disciplinary Monopoly in Development Research at the World Bank’. Global Governance. [online]. 13 (4). pp. 479-484. Available at: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mdx.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=857bb540-c2e9-4dfd-9caa-0760e56c4395%40sessionmgr4005&vid=1&hid=4106. [Accessed on 16 December 2014].