South Africa in BRICS: prospects and constraints

Chiyemura, Frangton
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The rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs) and the inclusion and integration of South Africa to form BRICS has sparked debates on the revival and significance of Global South/South-South Cooperation. No other subject has arguably contributed to the Global South debates and questions as much as BRICS. The elucidation and debate about BRICS and the Global South had seemed incomplete until the inclusion of South Africa in the forum. With this, some accounts and projections have been given about why South Africa was included. Such accounts by-passed the main question of the benefits and risks for South Africa. Therefore, this study was driven by the need to explore and establish the benefits, risks and uncertainties that befalls South Africa virtually by being a BRICS member. Based on a qualitative research approach in which interviews, extensive literature review and a historical analysis narrative, the study found that South Africa‘s participation in BRICS-though junior member has more potential benefits than risks. Such an analysis was made possible specifically by the employment of international political economy, social constructivism and the political coalition approaches as key theoretical cornerstones that underpinned the study. Keywords