ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

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Huanyu Zhao, Dries Lesage

Explaining BRICS Outreach: Motivations and Institutionalization

2020. Vol. 15. No. 2. P. 93–124 [issue contents]
This article examines and explains the outreach activity of the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. We focus on two research puzzles: a) the motivations and b) the form and degree of the institutionalization of BRICS outreach. We define outreach as collaborative interaction among BRICS and other actors within and outside the BRICS area and focus on outreach to governments of non-BRICS countries and national top officials representing regional organizations. First, we offer a theoretical framework based on the experiences of the Group of 7/8 (G7/8) and the Group of 20 (G20), considering both commonalities and differences with BRICS. Second, we provide a detailed empirical analysis of BRICS outreach over time. Third, we explain BRICS outreach in light of the theoretical framework and enrich it based on our findings. Methodologically, we draw empirical information from official documents, news media and academic literature. We argue that the outreach activity of a major power grouping is reflective of its internal cohesion, as well as of how it defines its own position in the world and how it is perceived by others. This research offers a timely contribution to the ongoing debate on BRICS and the under-researched BRICS outreach process as a part of the overall institutionalization of BRICS.
Citation: Zhao H., Lesage D. (2020) Explaining BRICS Outreach: Motivations and Institutionalization. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 15, no 2, pp. 93–124 (in English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2020-02-05
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