BRICS+ Expected to Emerge as Key Player in Geopolitical Landscape, Challenging G7 Dominance: Report

New Geopolitical Shift Could Be on the Horizon as BRICS Expands to Include BRICS+

Los Angeles, CA – The expansion of the BRICS group of nations into what has informally been named BRICS+ could signal a significant geopolitical shift, according to a report published by the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Titled “Towards A New Global Contestation? Comparing the Governance Performance of G7 and BRICS+ Nations”, the report examines the governance performance of the ten BRICS+ countries in comparison to the G7 nations. It uses the Berggruen Governance Index (BGI) to measure factors such as the provision of public goods, quality of democracy, and quality of governance.

In January 2024, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined the original BRICS group, which consisted of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This expansion has been seen by some as a potential counterpoint to the Western-led geopolitical order.

While the BRICS+ countries have a larger combined population and are expected to experience higher growth rates than the G7 nations, their economic output and per capita GDP are currently lower. Additionally, the G7 boasts greater soft power, a term used to describe the ability to influence through attraction and persuasion rather than force.

The report also notes a decline in the quality of democracy in some BRICS+ countries, including India, Brazil, and China, with authoritarian trends persisting in China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

However, the report also highlights improvements in the provision of public goods in some BRICS+ countries, even as state capacity and democratic accountability have declined. The authors conclude that this trend could make the BRICS+ countries more susceptible to authoritarian rule.

The report outlines two possible future scenarios for the BRICS+ countries. In the first, a government may struggle to sustain improvements in delivering public goods, leading to dissatisfaction among the population. In the second, some or most of the BRICS+ members reach a quality of life comparable to that of liberal democracies, challenging the belief that authoritarian governance cannot effectively provide public goods.

The report’s findings also suggest that most BRICS+ members are not seeking confrontation with the G7, but are instead engaging in a strategy that combines cooperation and contestation. This approach allows them to take advantage of opportunities while mitigating risks.

The report was produced by the Democracy News Alliance (DNA), a collaboration between Agence France-Presse (AFP), Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA), The Canadian Press (CP), Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), and PA Media (PA). Recipients of this material can use it without the need for a separate subscription agreement with the participating agencies.

Contact: Christian Röwekamp, Democracy News Alliance,

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