Rising Power Alliances Project

Defining global alliances from the BRICS countries’ perspectives. Much of the existing literature on alliances has the foundations in the Cold War and focuses on Western alliances. Since rising powers are increasingly important international security actors, it is crucial to understand how they view alliances. Using inductive research, this project investigates the changing nature and definition of alliances in the BRICS countries.

Coalitional behavior of the BRICS group across key strategic areas. The BRICS group is an international relations phenomenon: from a vague declaration in 2009, it has created a complex infrastructure of transgovernmental and societal cooperation and new international organizations. This project examines the drivers of BRICS’ coalitional behavior in the areas critical for the U.S. strategic interests.       

U.S.-BRICS diplomacy: competition and cooperation. U.S. global leadership depends on its ability to productively manage its relationship with rising powers, which some argue are threatening the United States and creating a parallel global order. This project identifies both the negotiation challenges and opportunities the United States faces when advancing its policy agendas in this context. 

The project is federally funded by the Minerva Research Initiative, which supports university-based, social science research aimed at improving our basic understanding of security and the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the United States.

This effort is sponsored by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research under ONR award number N000141812744. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.

Core Research Team

Former Fellows: Zhen Han, Christopher Williams

2021O’Donnell, Frank and Mihaela Papa. 2021. India’s Multi-alignment Management and the Russia–India–China (RIC) Triangle. International Affairs, DOI: 10.1093/ia/iiab036. In-text reference (O'Donnell and Papa 2021).
2020Williams, Christopher and Mihaela Papa. 2020. Rethinking “Alliances”: The Case of South Africa as a Rising Power. African Security, DOI: 10.1080/19392206.2020.1871796. In-text reference (Williams and Papa 2021).
2020Han, Zhen and Mihaela Papa. 2020. Alliances in Chinese International Relations: Are They Ending or Rejuvenating? Asian Security, DOI: 10.1080/14799855.2020.1825380. In-text reference (Han and Papa 2020).