BRICS And The Global Economy Part I:Intro

Below is a revised thesis on international political economy I'm currently working on, many ideas of which may contain logical flaws and misinterpretations. Therefore, I wholeheartedly welcome any rational comments and discussions in order to make this paper an ultimate approximation to the real situation. Thank you!
FiFi Qin
Impacts of the BRICS Countries on the Global Economy
In 2003, Goldman Sachs issued an investment report that coined the now-famous acronym, the BRIC to jointly refer to the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. While these economies only reflected a small portion of the global GNP at that time, economists have projected that in 40-50 years, these nations may very well catch up to the OECD countries in their economic capability. At the outset, these four BRIC nations are seemingly disparate; however, they have a common thread in that they are all developing nations with a significant growth potential.
In 2011, the BRIC turned to be the BRICS as South Africa gained entry. Since then, the BRICS have been representing a group of leading emerging economies that play a key role in the world development platforms. The group has received overwhelming global attention and has been playing a critical role across the globe.
From a political perspective, the rise of the BRICS has brought a redirection of foreign policy targets in member nations as well as a tectonic shift of power in  global governance.
From an economic perspective, the huge volume of trade and the upsurge of market demand generated from the BRICS nations contribute significantly to the recovery and growth of world economy after the 2008 crisis. Moreover, the proposed establishment of the BRICS Development Bank will possibly fashion a new model for international banking, and create development opportunities needed by the developing world.

Therefore, the thesis is set to analyze how the BRICS countries impact  the global economy from two aspects: foreign policy and economics. The author hopes this thesis could provide a general insight into the contributions and influences the BRICS makes internationally.
Chapter 1 Literature Review and Research Structure
1.1 Introduction to the BRICS
In 2001, Terence James "Jim" O'Neill, the retiring chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, coined the acronym the BRIC that has become well known nowadays, to refer to the four rapidly developing countries that symbolize the global economic power shift away from the developed G7 economies. The four countries are Brazil, Russia, India and China. The term BRIC was first proposed in Jim’O’Neil’s report, The World Needs Better Economic BRICs, a paper he wrote for Goldman Sachs's Global Economic Paper series. Later, South Africa, in 2011 at the third summit of the BRIC, gained its entry to the group, which was renamed as the BRICS since then. The BRICS grouping marks a tectonic shift, or the so-called “great transformation” of the world economy, where the impact of the BRICS and other similar emerging economies expand and, very possibly, would eventually outstrip the major developed countries.
Politically, no apparent similarities exist between the BRICS members. Instead, their internal political structures differ significantly. Among the five politically divergent states, Brazil, India and South Africa are well-established democracies, while Russia’s claimed democracy is largely affected by an authoritarian and oligarchic regime. China, the largest and most powerful socialist people’s republic, is under a unique political structure that is also depicted by the Western World as authoritarian. However, the BRICS countries have common pursuits in the international society. They form a considerable force in seeking joint action and allying other developing economies in UN resolutions and other international negotiations. For example, Brazil, India and South Africa are seeking a greater voice in the international peacekeeping efforts through the reform of United Nations Security Council. China and Russia are trying to achieve larger influence in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through IMF Quota Reform. On the other hand, BRICS members on their own are either regional leaders or powerful emerging economies that contribute significantly to regional development. By associating with each other, BRICS countries are able to justify their regional prominence and create a broader platform for cooperation with developing economies of mutual interest.
Economically, the BRICS nations represent a considerable weight in the global economy. According to 2012 estimate on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the five nations amounted to $22,539 billion in total, approximately 25% of the global GDP. They also account for 45% of the world’s population,, and 40% of the world currency reserves. Trade within the group amounts to $6.1 billion(trillion?) or 16.8% of global commerce. Economists have projected that in 40 to 50 years, the BRICS nations may very well catch up to the OECD countries in their economic prowess. At the outset, these five nations are seemingly disparate with regard to economic structure, development strategy, and macroeconomic policies; however, they have a common thread in that they are all large developing nations with a significant growth potential. The Goldman Sachs Global Economics Paper No.208 estimated in 2011 that, by around 2030, the BRICS economy as a whole will outstrip the G7 developed economies in total. The strength in economic growth has led to the transformation of the BRICS notion from a conceptual economic term to a formal political grouping based on common developmental interests. With official BRICS summits held and joint communiqués released, a polycentric system in global affairs is trending up towards the use of non- institutionalized mechanisms of global governance and network-based diplomacy, and the growing economic interdependence of states, where the BRICS grouping is gaining authority as an exemplary framework.
1.2 Research Structure
The following part of the thesis will mainly focus on two parts. First, the foreign policy strategies BRICS countries are generally taking and the implications on international affairs. Second, which is the motivation behind the formation of the BRICS, the economic linkages and prospective cooperation among BRICS nations and the impacts generated on the global economy.

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