Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2017;11(2):e0005.
Leaders or Loners? How Do the BRICS Countries and their Regions Vote in the UN General Assembly
The so-called emerging powers, including the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China
and South Africa), typically present themselves as natural leaders of their regions.
Although physical size confers them the status of regional powers, their role as leaders
depends on the consensual acceptance of their would-be followers. Can it be affirmed then
that the countries under the influence of the BRICS show convergent positions? Can the
five BRICS be considered de facto leaders of their regions? This article sets out to
answer these questions by analysing the behaviour of the BRICS and their regional partners
in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The research design replicates the data
from Voeten (2013) in order to compare the average affinity between each of the BRICS
countries and their regions in the votes of the UNGA from 1992 to 2014. The data indicate
a high level of regional cohesion for Brazil, China and South Africa when compared to
Russia and India. The findings corroborate the literature in relation to Brazil and South
Africa but conflict with what has been produced on the regional leadership of Russia,
India and China.