The BRICS platform is expanding. It presents itself as an alternative to the West--namely, the United States and the European Union. Asia, South America and Africa are represented in the BRICS platform. This representation will be further entrinched with the addition of key nations from the same continents. Founded as as a counterbalance to the globe's traditional leadership, it includes China, Russia, Brasil, India and South Africa. Early next year, membership is expected to include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Argentina and Ethiopia. It is not too difficult to imagine a future expansion that may include other similar nations.
It is not easy to ignore the impact that such a coallition would have on the existing world order. The BRICS platform obviously has its sight set on presenting formidable alternatives to global trade, development, finance, energy and arms sales. The economic, political and military might of the coallition will make the multi-polar world a reality in the 21st century.
The effectiveness of the platform will depend largely on cohesion among its member states. The BRICS are betting that the benefits gained by the members will in the end outweigh historic competition.
The high degree of cohesion among the members of the G7 and the West in general is a clear contrast. Democracy, individual liberties and the peaceful exchange of power all run very deep in a large number of nations. The West is held together by ideas and people. The Western way of life is a popular demand that cannot be imposed by any small influential group of leaders.
The BRICS might be able to win over a considerable number of autocratic regimes, but unless it is able to address the all too important issues of civil liberty and political and economic liberty, it will forever be a platform for unrepresentative governments from three very different continents.