• BRICS and Emerging Economies: an assessment

      Anand, Prathivadi B.; Comim, F.; Fennell, S. (2020-12-17)
      The aim of this chapter is a comprehensive analysis of various aspects of the emergence of BRICS. We begin with an examination of emergence of BRICS showing that BRICS have been members of the top 15 largest economies in the world since 1960. In purchasing power parity terms, by 2015, BRICS have equalled G7 countries in terms of the share of global output. Various possible explanatory factors of their growth are examined. Though BRICS account for nearly a half of global output growth, in terms of real per capita income, BRICS have a long way to go. There are many challenges to BRICS in terms of the levels of income and wealth inequalities, the educational inequalities as measured in terms of education-Gini and the quality of their infrastructure notwithstanding the massive investments being made remains inadequate. We also analyse the nine BRICS summits so far and the text analysis of these declarations suggests that such summits are becoming more formal and focused on specific policy outcomes and creation of new institutions for deepening multilateral co-operation. The chapter ends with an analysis of global governance issues and four possible future scenarios of BRICS.
    • Human Security and Development in Africa.

      Gomes Porto, Joao; Poku, Nana K.; Renwick, N. (2007)
      There has been a recent rise in optimism about Africa's prospects: increased economic growth; renewed regional and national political commitments to good governance; and fewer conflicts. Yet, given current trends and with less than eight years until 2015, Africa is likely to fail to meet every single one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Home to almost one-third of the world's poor, Africa's challenges remain as daunting as ever. Despite highly publicized increased growth in some economies, the combined economies of Africa have, on average, actually shrunk and are far from meeting the required 7 per cent growth needed to tackle extreme poverty. A similar picture emerges from the analysis of Africa's performance on the other MDGs. In a world where security and development are inextricably connected in complex and multifaceted ways, Africans are, as a result, among the most insecure. By reviewing a select number of political, security and socio-economic indicators for the continent, this analysis evaluates the reasons underlying Africa's continuing predicament. It identifies four critical issues: ensuring peace and security; fostering good governance; fighting HIV/ AIDS; and managing the debt crisis. In assessing these developmental security challenges, the article recalls that the MDGs are more than time bound, quantified targets for poverty alleviation¿they also represent a commitment by all members of the international community, underwritten by principles of co-responsibility and partnership, to an enlarged notion of development based on the recognition that human development is key to sustaining social and economic progress. In recent years, and often following failures, especially in Africa, to protect civilian populations from the violence and predation of civil wars, a series of high-level commissions and expert groups have conducted strategic reviews of the UN system and its function in global politics. The debate has also developed at the theoretical level involving both a recon-ceptualization of security, from state centred norms to what is referred to as the globalization of security around the human security norm. There has also been a reconceptualization of peacekeeping, where the peacekeeping force has enough robustness to use force not only to protect populations under the emergent responsibility to protect norm, but also enough conflict resolution capacity to facilitate operations across the conflict¿development¿peacebuilding continuum. This article opens up a discussion of how these ideas might be relevant to security regime building and conflict resolution in African contexts, and suggests how initiatives in Africa might begin to make a contribution to the theory and practice of cosmopolitan peacekeeping.
    • Iran's 2019-2020 demonstrations: the changing dynamics of political protests in Iran

      Shahi, Afshin; Abdoh-Tabrizi, E. (2020)
      The widespread protests of November 2019 may be marked as the bloodiest recent chapter of the Islamic Republic of Iran's history in terms of popular dissent. The two major protests in December 2017 and November 2019, followed by the public reaction to the shooting down of the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 by the IRGC over Tehran after the US killing of General Soleimani, suggest that the prevailing dynamics of political protest in Iran are changing. There is an increasing sense of radicalisation among protesters, while the state is prepared to resort to extreme violence to maintain control. The geography of political protest has changed. The declining economic situation has had a profound impact on the more vulnerable segments of the society who are now increasingly playing a more proactive role in challenging the state. The methods of protest have been evolving over the last four decades, especially in the cultural arena. Last but not least, the willingness of the protesters both to endure and inflict violence is precipitously transforming state-society relations beyond recognition. This article begins by providing a brief overview of protest in the history of the Islamic Republic, up to the public reaction to the 2020 downing of the Ukrainian airline over Tehran. This provides a historical context to assess the ways in which both the political climate and protests have changed over the last four decades. A section identifying and analysing the factors which have created the current political cul-de-sac then follows. The changing dynamics of the protests are the result of the existing political gridlock and the economic crisis, and it is thus important to evaluate the prevailing conditions which have paved the way for the radicalisation of political climate in Iran. The final section examines the changing dynamics of political protest.