University of Toronto
BRICS flags
BRICS Information Centre

What Is the Mainstream of the BRICS?
A Constructive Analysis

Sarah Moreira Utzig
Centro Universitário La Salle – Unilasalle
June 2014


The objective of this article is to answer the question "what is the raison d'ĂȘtre of the BRICS?" from a constructivist analysis. Firstly it is presented the history of the BRICS objecting the revelation of its importance in the international system. Then are presented the BRICS' summits, from the first one in 2009 to the last one in 2012. Next it is drawn a brief profile of each group member at the same time that are raised the main hypothesis of their motivations and interests in joining the BRICS. Secondly are presented the main concepts of IR Constructivist Theory as it is pointed out the relevance of this theory in the academic community. After a brief introduction of general concepts, specific concepts of Wendt's Constructivism such as "IR cultures" and "levels of internalization" are explained. Thirdly the concepts of Constructivist Theory are related to the BRICS' summits at the same that a brief constructivist analysis of the present historical context is presented, and also a few reasons that motivate conflicts or cooperation between States in the international system are indicated. Finally are presented the final remarks. Accordingly to what was analyzed it is possible to explain BRICS' mainspring through two different perspectives, one that emphasizes a Lockean culture in which the BRICS emerges as an instrument of balance of power; and other that emphasizes a Kantian culture in which the BRICS emerges as an instrument of world peace. (Translated from Portuguese by the author.)

Download paper here.

[back to top]