South Africa’s BRICS Presidency: Regional Power at the Helm of a Global Governance Forum

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Abstract


The paper presents the analysis of South Africa’s BRICS Presidency which formally started with the summit in Durban on March 15-17, 2013 and finished in June 2014 with the BRICS leaders’ Fortaleza meeting. To assess the Presidency effectiveness the author applies “supply-demand” model fine-tuned to achieve a balance of external conditions and national priorities of the country chairing informal summitry institutions, such as BRICS, G20 or G7/8. This analytical paradigm allows reveal to what extent the Presidency has managed to ensure: 1) a high level of response to the key global governance challenges in the summit agenda and decisions; 2) a balance between internal demand (domestic priorities) and external demand (other members’ interests and global governance challenges) in the Presidency priorities; 3) maximal use of the institution’s capabilities. Conformity of the role chosen by the Presidency (organizer, mediator, political leader, national representative) to the combination of external and internal conditions is also considered as it is a major factor of the presidency success. Content analysis, comparative analysis and functional approach were used in the study. The primary sources of the research included the BRICS documents, national documents of the member states, the leaders’ addresses. The study reveals that the major factors of the South African BRICS presidency success were commitment to implementation of the Durban decisions and action plan as well as the will to utilize the BRICS capabilities for African countries development and South African regional leadership. In the former case the foundation of success was reinforced the chair’ choice of the organizer role, whereas in the latter a combination of the political leader and national representative roles proved to be the most productive for the presidency.

Marina V Larionova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Email: mlarionova@hse.ru
International Organizations Research Institute

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Copyright (c) 2015 Ларионова М.В.

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