Daniel Flemes

Emerging Middle Powers’ Soft Balancing Strategy: State and Perspectives of the IBSA Dialogue Forum

GIGA Working Paper, No. 57, August 2007

Abstract
How can weaker states influence stronger ones? This article offers a case study of one recent exercise in coalition building among Southern middle powers, the ‘India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum’. The analysis outlines five major points: first, it argues that the three emerging players can be defined as middle powers in order to frame their foreign policy behavior and options at the global level. Second, soft balancing is a suitable concept to explain IBSA’s strategy in global institutions. Third, institutional foreign policy instruments are of pivotal significance in IBSA’s soft balancing strategy. Fourth, the potential gains of IBSA’s sector cooperation, particularly in trade, are limited due to a lack of complementarity of the three economies. And fifth, IBSA’s perspectives and impact on the international system will depend on four variables: IBSA’s ability to focus on distinct areas of cooperation, the consolidation of its common strategy of soft balancing, the institutionalization of IBSA, and its enlargement in order to obtain more weight in global bargains.

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GIGA AutorInnen

Dr. Daniel Flemes

Senior Research Fellow
Redaktion GIGA Focus Lateinamerika

Dr. Daniel Flemes ist Herausgeber des GIGA Focus Lateinamerika und Schumpeter Fellow der Volkswagenstiftung am GIGA Institut für Lateinamerika-Studien. In seiner Forschung beschäftigt er sich mit Brasiliens Politik und Gesellschaft.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Daniel Flemes

Lateinamerikas Entwicklungsbremsen: Instabilität, Gewalt, korrupte Eliten

IP Internationale Politik, Juli/ August 2019, 2019, 64-69

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Bolsonaros Außenpolitik: Gegen Multilateralismus, für Klimawandel

GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 05/2019

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Wahl in Brasilien: Rechtspopulismus auf dem Vormarsch

GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 05/2018

Daniel Flemes / Rafael Castro

Colombian Foreign Policy: Contestation by Institution Building

in: Hannes Ebert / Daniel Flemes (eds.), Regional Powers and Contested Leadership, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 85-109

Hannes Ebert / Daniel Flemes

Rethinking Regional Leadership in the Global Disorder

Rising Powers Quarterly, 3, 2018, 1, 7-23