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 puzzle: 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, Frank O’Donnell, Christopher Williams

2022Zongyuan Liu and Mihaela Papa, Can BRICS De-dollarize the Global Financial System? (Elements in the Economics of Emerging Markets) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022). Online ISBN: 9781009029544. In-text reference (Liu and Papa 2022).
2021Ecaterina Locoman and Mihaela Papa, Transformation of Alliances: Mapping Russia’s Close Relationships in the Era of Multivectorism. Contemporary Security Policy, 2021. DOI: 10.1080/13523260.2021.1994692. In-text reference (Locoman and Papa 2021).
2021Raj Verma and Mihaela Papa, BRICS amidst India-China Rivalry. Introduction to the Special Section: India-China Conflict and BRICS: Business as Usual?, Global Policy 12(4): 509-513, 2021. DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12977. In-text reference (Verma and Papa 2021).
2021Mihaela Papa and Raj Verma, Scenarios for BRICS Evolution in Light of the India-China Conflict In Raj Verma and Mihaela Papa, eds., Special Section: India-China Conflict and BRICS: Business as Usual?, Global Policy 12(4): 539-544, 2021. DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.13010. In-text reference (Papa and Verma 2021).
2021Frank O’Donnell and Mihaela Papa, India’s Multi-alignment Management and the Russia–India–China (RIC) Triangle. International Affairs 97(3): 801-822, 2021. DOI: 10.1093/ia/iiab036. In-text reference (O'Donnell and Papa 2021).
2021Zhen Han and Mihaela Papa, Alliances in Chinese International Relations: Are They Ending or Rejuvenating? Asian Security 17(2): 158-177, 2021. DOI: 10.1080/14799855.2020.1825380. In-text reference (Han and Papa 2021).
2020Christopher Williams and Mihaela Papa, Rethinking “Alliances”: The Case of South Africa as a Rising Power. African Security 13(4): 325-352, 2020. DOI: 10.1080/19392206.2020.1871796. In-text reference (Williams and Papa 2020).