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Comparing Rising World Powers

While rising powers have often been treated together through groupings like the BRICS, they might have as much to divide as unite them. At the same time, many of these states have hit bumps in the road – slowing economic growth, domestic political uncertainty, and regional contestation. This module will compare the goals and behaviours of several rising powers, as well as asking what impact they have in their own regions. Is a large power’s rise more likely to bring benefits or conflict in its neighbourhood? Does China seek to rise peacefully? Will Brazil remain the “country of the future?” Can South Africa claim the mantle of regional leadership? Does democracy matter in India’s international trajectory? Is Russia rising or revanchist? And what does the growing power of these countries mean for their smaller neighbours? This module should be of interest to students interested in IR theory, in comparative foreign policy, and in comparative regionalism.

The module will explore and compare several states that have often been termed rising powers. It will evaluate their trajectories, as well as their impacts on regional and global international systems. It draws largely on IR theories and frameworks of comparative foreign policy analysis to contextualize rising powers and examine their particular paths.