News & events


Laying the BRICS of a New Global Order

31 July 2013
12:15 - 14:00

Date: 31 July 2013

Time: 12:15 – 14:00

Presenters: Prof. Narnia Bohler-Muller (DGSD, HSRC) and Mr Francis A. Kornegay, Jr (IGD/Unisa)


The International Relations & Regionalism of BRICS. By Mr Francis A. Kornegay, Jr., IGD/Unisa

The emergence of BRICS represents the evolution of the international system toward a multipolar order. However, the tendency to approach the origins of BRICS in the original Wall Street ‘BRIC’ branding for the benefit of investors has been a major distraction in understanding BRICS and how it came to be. To an extent, BRICS is a default outcome of the failure of the G8 to extend itself into a G13 by incorporating the ‘Outreach 5’ which included India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) plus China and Mexico. The other source of origin is the outreach of the Russia-India-China (RIC) ministerial trilateral to Brazil to become BRIC on the sidelines of the 2009 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. South Africa’s inclusion in 2010 rounded out the global geopolitical legitimacy of what is now BRICS by extending its regional representation into Africa. The contradictions within BRICS are reflected in its SCO-RIC-IBSA dynamics. As such, its global governance potential is limited to the international economic rather than the global political realm.

BRICS and South Africa’s Foreign Policy Framework: What are our national interests? By Prof. Narnia Bohler-Muller, HSRC

Currently, much of South Africa’s positioning on the world stage is informed by two main factors: Afrocentrism and global South multilateralism (in particular BRICS).  This paper examines the question as to whether or not the South African government’s Global South and African agendas, and the ‘diplomacy of Ubuntu’ articulated by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), are realistic strategies that take into account national interests related to human and social wellbeing as provided for in the 1996 Constitution and highlighted in tbe National Development Plan Vision 2030. The central question asked is how the most recent developments around BRICS fits into the ‘bigger picture’ of South Africa’s role on the world stage and what this means for ordinary South Africans.

Kindly RSVP by 28 July 2013

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below. The speakers will be in Pretoria.

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: