Johannesburg, South Africa
Seen in hindsight, the “Brics” concept was the perfect analytical tool for our lazy age, making one big point that required little thought while ignoring the nuance that is the basis of all good political risk analysis.
Coined in 2001 by then Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill, the idea that the rising developing countries (specifically Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) would increasingly come to play a central role in the world amounts to a very big idea that is entirely on the money.
Indeed, the single biggest historical headline of the age we live in is surely that the 500-year political and economic domination of the world by the west has come to an end. The analytical study of international relations must now be truly global, rather than simply being focused on the Transatlantic region.