INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2021 (1) en-us Copyright 2021 Tue, 06 Apr 2021 14:09:39 +0300 BRICS’ Contribution to the Global Transition to Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns The rationalization of production and consumption patterns lies at the core of sustainable development as it determines the level of anthropogenic impact on the environment, which is ultimately the subject of all international climate arrangements. This topic broadly encompasses not only sustainable development goal (SDG) 12, but also certain aspects of SDGs 7 and 11.The role of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in promoting the concept of sustainability globally is determined by their place among the leading producers and consumers of natural resources and emitters of pollutants, as well as the parties to major global agreements in this area. This article focuses on the institutional contribution of the BRICS agenda to the international community’s efforts to achieve the SDG targets related to the rationalization of resource production and consumption.In addition, because the socio-economic crisis of 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is seen as one of the factors impeding the implementation of the goals, the article also highlights the impact of COVID-19 and the crisis response of BRICS governments on long-term strategic planning for sustainable development. Emerging Regulation for the Digital Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for Multilateral Global Governance The role of information and communications technology (ICT), high-speed communication infrastructure, digital content and the digital economy is expected to grow in the post-pandemic society. Simultaneously, competition for digital technologies and solutions and the contest to influence norms, standards and regulatory mechanisms is escalating. The new regulatory mechanisms and approaches are concurrently being shaped in the key international institutions, including the United Nations (UN), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the European Union (EU), the Group of 20 (G20) and the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.This article presents analysis of the current cooperation on issues of digital economy regulation within the main international institutions. The study aims to assess the influence of the existing and emerging regulatory mechanisms on the balance of power between the key international actors.This assessment of the emerging mechanisms’ impact on the balance of power among international actors indicates that advantages and leverage capabilities accruing from them are distributed unevenly. The advanced members of the OECD and the G20 gain significant advantages, and there is a risk that the new mechanisms will consolidate the balance of power embodied by the Bretton Woods system, which has successfully resisted decades-long endeavors for its reform.However, regulation of the digital economy is not yet built as an established order.  A window of opportunity was opened in 2020, not only to implement the G20’s 2008 pledge to reform the international financial and economic architecture, but also to build a new digital economy governance system, ensuring thatemerging markets and developing countries have a voice in decision-making commensurate with their weight in the global economy.The article is structured in three parts. The introduction presents the research questions and objectives and describes the parameters of comparative analysis and influence assessment criteria. The second section reviews the emerging mechanisms and instruments and reflects on their influence on the balance of power. The third section puts forward conclusions and recommendations for enhancing the influence of emerging markets and developing countries on the shaping and functioning of the emerging digital economy’s regulatory mechanisms. Trade Openness and Competitiveness: BRICS and Sub-Saharan Africa Countries2 The aim of this study is to highlight the key competitiveness elements that promote trade flows between the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and those in Sub-Saharan Africa. To do so, we employ the econometrics of panel data during the period of study from 1995 to 2018. We apply the Blundell and Bond GMM estimator [1998] and we utilize Sargan’s [1958] over-identification test to confirm the validity of delayed variables in level and difference as instruments used in our estimations. The empirical findings of our study show that trade policy actions, high natural resource allocation and the evolution of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of the participating countries promote this trade openness between BRICS and Sub-Saharan Africa economies. Additionally, African countries need to develop their industrial sector to export more high-value manufactured products. BRICS and Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Prospects for Trade with Least Developed Countries The informal BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is actively working to solve the most acute global problems. This is why opportunities for implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at BRICS summits is a topic for urgent research. This article discusses the prospects for achieving SDG 17.11 by the least developed countries (LDCs) in the framework of mutual trade with BRICS. SDG 17.11, unlike other goals, was expected to be achieved in 2020, but World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates for 2018 showed that progress was too slow. Against the sharp drop in international trade in 2020 due to economic shutdowns, the implementation of this goal is especially high on the agenda. This article describes the current implementation of the SDG by BRICS. A general analysis of mutual trade between LDCs and BRICS shows the low involvement of least developed countries in trade with BRICS. The methodology for the study involves computations of two trade indices and the identification of new clusters of LDCs. The export propensity index and trade intensity index are calculated in order to identify the countries with the most promise to increase exports to BRICS. The authors selected 13 LDCs with prospects for trade development with BRICS—Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Guinea, Mauritania, Nepal, Tanzania, Zambia, Bhutan, Lesotho, Malawi and Solomon Islands. Among 34 other LDCs, the authors identify five clusters based on their economic structure, including the role played in their economies by official development assistance (ODA) and personal remittances. Clustering allows BRICS to provide targeted support to LDCs in order to increase their export potential through the most effective mechanisms for each economy. Existing Mechanisms of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Their Problems Dealing With Non-traditional Security Challenges Central Asia is extremely important for the security of Russia, China and the Eurasian region, both historically and at present. Unconventional security challenges, led by terrorism, extremism and separatism, which in the official Chinese rhetoric and official documents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are designated as the ‘three forces of evil,’ pose a serious challenge to the security of China, Russia, the countries of Central Asia and Eurasia in general.Over the 20 years of the SCO’s history, proceeding from their ‘Shanghai spirit,’ the participating countries have created unique legislative and organizational mechanisms for a joint strike against the ‘three forces of evil,’ as well as mechanisms for bilateral and multilateral antiterrorist exercises. The most important of these is the Peace Mission joint exercise, which has been regularly held since 2005.These mechanisms of cooperation within the SCO embody the spirit of solidarity, mutual trust and cooperation, reflect the ability of the members of the organization to jointly counter the ‘three forces of evil’ and respond to related problems, and also symbolize the SCO’s determination to protect stability in the region and peace in the world. The organization has made a significant contribution to ensuring security in the region. Nevertheless, in the face of existing problems and new challenges such as potential competition and disagreements within the organization, problems with new members after the expansion of the membership, and also the ineffective functioning of some of the SCO’s security instruments, all SCO members need to strengthen their cooperation and open new ways for organizing the SCO to fulfil well its unique role to ensure security in the territory of SCO states and in Eurasia as a whole. The new model of relations—‘Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction entering a new era’—that underlies the SCO gives the organization greater stability. The SCO is a unique organization on the territory of Eurasia and has both implemented an important innovation in the theory and practice of international relations and opened a new model of regional cooperation. Therefore, it can be stated with a high degree of confidence that multilateral cooperation in the field of security will gradually deepen. The Challenges of Implementing the EAEU’s Digital Agenda Digitalization is one of the dominant processes in contemporary economic development, both on the national level and globally. The process of articulating and implementing digital economy policies is underway in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and in 2017 the EAEU Strategic Directions for the Development of the Digital Agenda Until 2025 were adopted. Identifying the specificities and challenges of the digital agenda’s implementation in the context of integration processes in the region is the aim of this article. The study focuses on the interaction at the supranational level of decision-making within EAEU institutions, as well as the interaction of the national and supranational levels. The author concludes that the projects and initiatives are being implemented as a part of the agenda, albeit slowly. The other envisaged mechanisms require a much higher level of harmonization, for which EAEU leaders are not yet ready. The main features of the digital agenda’s implementation in the EAEU are the primacy of sovereignty, diverging levels of digitalization of members in both access to infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, project-based approaches to implementation, absence of a digital agenda in the EAEU Treaty and involvement of expert communities.Based on analysis of the legal and regulatory framework, the following recommendations can be made: an institutional and legal framework for the digital agenda should be established, coordination between the national and supranational levels should be improved, digital strategies should be adopted and synchronized in all member states, the selection and implementation of initiatives should be improved, best practices should be adopted, and cooperation with international organizations and theEuropean Union (EU) should be developed.For Russia, the development of a digital agenda within the EAEU and deepened integration (or development of cooperation) are necessary to ensure the realization of national interests in a priority region—the post-Soviet space—especially given the increasingly active developing regulatory influence of other actors, primarily the EU. Given the growing importance of digitalization as a driver of economic growth and the increasing competition for influence on the regulation of the digital economy, a priority for the Russian Federation should be to resolve the contradiction between the principle of primacy of sovereignty and the development of integration. A possible way out could be an approach based on ‘multi-speed integration,’ as tested in the EU. Another option could be a complete revision of the model of interaction with neighbours in the region. The Current State of, and Perspectives on, Foreign Trade Between the EU and Central Asia in a Period of Geoeconomic Change The article examines the current foreign trade relations between the EU and Central Asia. Based on econometric analysis, it sets out possible perspectives for the further development of mutual trade relations in the time of geoeconomic changes. As one of the most important integration groupings in the world, the EU has a significant influence in promoting its foreign trade interests. Central Asia is a part of Asia consisting of several states that are members of different regional integration groupings with different priorities. The result of the research is an analysis of mutual foreign trade relations. Character and perspective of mutual trade relations is assessed by using of selected one-factor indicators (trade complementarity index and trade intensity index). With the help of time-series forecast model, the article also tries to estimate the future development of EU exports as well as EU imports in relation to Central Asian countries. While the EU imports from Central Asian countries are dominated by minerals and fuels in the long term, EU exports consist of more sophisticated and diversified production. This represents the potential for further development of the business relationships and growth of mutual trade. In the case of favourable circumstances, a continuing growth trend in trade can be expected, especially on the side on EU exports. The Major non-NATO Ally Status: Characteristics, Chronology, Geographical Distribution In recent years, the "Major non-NATO ally" (MNNA) status has become more prominent in American foreign policy. Media representatives are interested in following: who will be the next MNNA, what privileges will the country receive, and can the status be granted as an alternative of joining NATO? The purpose of the article is to illuminate the prerequisites for status appearance and its legal foundations, to study the MNNA’s role as the American foreign policy instrument. Hegemony and World Order: an overview of the concept “Hegemony as Complexity” This article reviews the key topics and debates in Hegemony and World Order: Reimagining Power in Global Politics(Routledge, 2020), edited by P. Dutkiewicz, T. Casier, J. A. Scholte. The volume covers several issues related to hegemony in contemporary politics from neo-liberal, realist, constructivist, neo-Gramscian, world-systems and postcolonial theoretical perspectives. The concept of “complex hegemony,” briefly evaluated in this review, and the analysis of the recent stage of globalization presented in the volume offer meaningful contributions to the theoretical debates. From a more practical perspective, Hegemony and World Order dwells on the future of world order and the prospects for alternative hegemonic projects, including those sponsored by China and Russia. Additionally, the hegemony of non-state actors in global governance is studied in detail. The review considers the ability of the leading states to execute complex hegemony and discuss the demand for hegemony in the context of the transformation of world order.