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Francesco Petrone1
  • 1 Universidad de Barcelona, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

BRICS and Civil Society: Challenges and Future Perspectives in a Multipolar World

2021. Vol. 16. No. 4. P. [issue contents]

This paper investigates the role of civil society (CS) in relation to issues of global concern, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, it focuses on the role of CS in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Western CS has, over time, shown certain limitations that have exposed it to a number of criticisms, while in BRICS, CS could begin to play a decisive role as a “historical bloc,” using Gramsci's expression. In fact, BRICS has repeatedly reiterated that it wants to reshape global governance (GG), and indeed its current growth has shown that it could effectively do so. Therefore, it is worth analyzing what role CS plays in this process. This analysis leads to an understanding of the many advances, and also the diverse limitations, that characterize the effectiveness of the work of CS in the BRICS countries. Thus, CS’s ability to be decisive in policymaking remains unclear. The argument in this paper proceeds as follows: some classical theories on CS are analyzed, highlighting the ethical tasks in which CS should be engaged; then, criticisms directed toward western CS are debated. Finally, the limitations and potential that CS has in the BRICS countries is considered, above all in light of the recent response to COVID-19. The conclusions highlight the fact that, if the BRICS countries want to play a leading role in GG and, broadly speaking, in future multilateralism, CS must play a decisive role within them. Specifically, a solid cooperation, or even a stable alliance, is needed between the civil societies of BRICS countries in order to address pressing issues and demands coming from the Global South.

Citation: Petrone F. BRICS and Civil Society: Challenges and Future Perspectives in a Multipolar World. International Organisations Research Journal, vol.16, no 3, pp.(in English)
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