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Another BRIC in the Wall? South Africa's Developmental Impact and Contradictory Rise in Africa and Beyond


  • Pádraig Carmody

    () (1] Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland[2] University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.)


Globalisation is transforming the nature of authority in international relations, as hegemony is replaced by geo-governance, involving a more varied set of actors. However, private authority over markets and resources is still often constituted and refracted through states. Much has been written in this respect about China and India's rising role in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), but South Africa remains a highly significant regional political and economic player. Facilitated through its regional leadership, it has also recently acceded to the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) cooperation mechanism, reflecting its growing international influence and the transforming nature of global governance. This article explores ‘South African’ geo-governance and its impacts in SSA to consider the nature and construction of South African state power, and its international influence. It concludes with some reflections on the way the South African case informs international relations and development theory.La globalisation fait évoluer la nature de l’autorité dans les relations internationales au fur et à mesure que la géo-gouvernance se substitue à l’hégémonie et met en jeu une plus grande variété d’acteurs. Cependant, l’autorité privée sur les marchés et les ressources continue à se constituer et à s’altérer à travers les États. La littérature à ce sujet abonde sur le rôle grandissant de la Chine et de l’Inde en Afrique subsaharienne, mais il n’en reste pas moins que l’Afrique du Sud est un acteur politique et économique de premier plan dans cette région du monde. Grâce, notamment, à son statut de leader régional, elle a récemment intégré le dispositif de coopération du BRIC (Brésil, Russie, Inde et Chine), ce qui reflète la montée de son influence sur la scène internationale et l’évolution de la nature de la gouvernance mondial. Cet article examine la géo-gouvernance à la ‘sud africaine’ et son impact en Afrique subsaharienne afin de mieux comprendre la nature et le développement de la puissance de l’État sud-africain et de son influence internationale. Il se conclut par des observations concernant le rôle du cas sud-africain pour les relations internationales et les théories du développement.

Suggested Citation

  • Pádraig Carmody, 2012. "Another BRIC in the Wall? South Africa's Developmental Impact and Contradictory Rise in Africa and Beyond," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 24(2), pages 223-241, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:24:y:2012:i:2:p:223-241

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