BRICS Summit in Johannesburg: More Instruments and Fewer Decisions

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This article presents an analysis of the outcomes of the tenth anniversary BRICS summit that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the meetings of ministers of BRICS countries. The achievements of the ministerial meetings and the main summit were analyzed taking into account such parameters as the implementation of the priorities of the host country; ensuring continuity of the BRICS agenda; launching new initiatives and making decisions that are in line with the interests of the host country and BRICS partners. Beyond that, the article presents analysis of distribution of the functions of global governance (“Discussion”, “Decision making”, “Direction setting”, “Delivery”) and issues of the global governance by the number of symbols used in the texts of the Johannesburg declaration and the documents agreed during ministerial meetings. The author used the method of content analysis when reviewing the strategic documents of South Africa on issues of national development and the documents agreed during the ministerial meetings and the summit in Johannesburg, and the method of historical analysis when determining impact of South Africa on the BRICS agenda and success of the chairmanship. South Africa as the BRICS chair country preserved continuity over the key issues of the agenda (macroeconomic policy, cooperation in humanitarian sphere, etc.). Security issues were not fully developed, although they were put on the priority list by the chair country. Decisions made at the summit in Johannesburg and during the ministerial meetings result in creation of new working mechanisms (PartNIR, BRICS Vaccine Development and Research Center, etc.) that meet the current global challenges and match the interests of the parties. Nevertheless, the share of “Decision making” function decreased significantly against the background of the growing number of “Deliberation” function in the documents that were analyzed, which indicates a divergence of interests of the parties on a number of issues under discussion.

About the authors

Alexander Alexandrovich Ignatov

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.

Junior Researcher, Center for International Institutions Research (CIIR), Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration


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Copyright (c) 2019 Ignatov A.A.

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