Journal Article

Rising Powers and the Regime for Development Finance

Date Published

Sep 1, 2014


Michael J. Tierney


International Studies Review


Tierney, M. J. (2014). Rising Powers and the Regime for Development Finance. International Studies Review, 16(3), 452-455. doi:10.1111/misr.12153


The 2013 BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, attended by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, produced a joint declaration that simultaneously heralded a new "BRICS Development Bank" and demanded the reform of existing "international financial institutions to make them more representative and to reflect the growing weight of BRICS and other developing countries" (eThekwini Declaration 2013). As they had at previous summits, the BRICS demanded reform of "the prevailing global governance architecture" that was conceived over six decades ago. As Edward Mansfield (this issue) explains, international relations theory suggests that rising powers may seek to reform existing institutions or create new ones to challenge the prevailing system (Gilpin 1987; Hawkins, Lake, Nielson, and Tierney 2006). In the area of development finance, the BRICS appear to be attempting both. However, their rhetorical consensus obscures serious differences that make it unlikely we will observe sudden or substantial changes in the global development finance regime that was designed to set standards and enhance cooperation among Western donors. Further, while BRICS donors will become more important sources of development finance, they show little interest in joining the existing regime.

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Mike Tierney

Mike Tierney

Co-Director of the Global Research Institute and Hylton Professor of Government and International Relations at the College of William & Mary

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