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The BRICS and the Global Power Shift


Credits: 4 ECTS

First semester

Elective Courses




Throughout this course the concept of emerging powers will be explored critically, assessing the actual and potential performance both in domestic and international affairs of the members of the BRICS fora. An overview of the Eurasian and Indo-Pacific geopolitics in the last 40 years will be discussed during the first session as the basis to understanding the currently unfolding era of Great Power Competition which is apparently shaping a global power shift. Over the following two lectures the concepts of power, multipolarity, multilateralism and global governance will be analyzed critically, setting the general theoretical framework for the course. In the following sessions, the domestic affairs and foreign policies of Brazil, China, India and Russia will be explored, emphasizing the strengths and weaknesses of each one of them and the serious challenges they must face to consolidate themselves as global powers.


  • Individual short essay (70% of the final mark). Free topic but to be agreed with the instructors.

  • Group presentation about one proposed topic (20% of the final mark) if circumstances allow

  • Class assistance and participation (10%)

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)