Brazil now boasts the world’s sixth largest economy, and it has emerged as a major player on the global diplomatic stage. India’s economy has taken off since the reforms of the early 2000s, and New Delhi has embarked on a major military modernization program.
Indonesia’s economy is similarly growing rapidly, and the country sits at the strategic crossroads of two oceans. Turkey, too, has experienced rapid economic growth and has emerged as a key player in the new Middle Eastern politics. All four are not only members of the G20 but also a raft of other international groupings.
These four rising powers will be increasingly significant global players in the years ahead. Engaging them now is ever more important because the international order itself is today coming under new pressures.
For six decades, the US and its European allies have underpinned an order that, while imperfect, has successfully safeguarded market capitalism, preserved peace among the great global powers, and created an environment conducive to the flowering of democracy and human rights.
Maintaining that order is increasingly difficult. Today, multiple factors challenge it: China’s ascendancy to superpower status, the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, moribund global trade talks, the growth of state capitalism, and the West’s financial difficulties.