An emerging power is a term used by academics as recognition of the rising, primarily economic, influence of a nation - or union of nations - which has steadily increased their presence in global affairs. Such a power aspires to have a more powerful position or role in international relations, either regionally or globally, and possess sufficient resources and development that such goals are potentially achievable.
There is no standard or agreed method to decide which states are emerging powers. However a fundamental characteristic of an emerging power is that it is also an emerging economy, being that economic development is necessary and preliminary to political and military emergence. It has been argued that while a country may be an emerging power, it is above anything else an emerging economy with only the potential or hope of increasing their global influence. This is because of several limiting factors, largely the seven dimensions of state power; geography, population, economy, resources, military, diplomacy and national identity. Traditionally, only great powers or superpowers have succeeded in all seven dimensions of state power.
The BRICS are often cited as being emerging powers, but at varying stages of development and of varying degrees of potential. For example Russia, which was once a superpower, is now re-emerging in some aspects of state power following the fall of the Soviet Union. China and India are emerging as potential superpowers, while Brazil and South Africa are emerging as possible great powers of the future. Five G20 members as emerging powers, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and Australia are in the process of forming an initiative "MIKTA" to serve as a third major bloc in G20 to counterbalance the overwhelming influence of G7 and BRICS.
List of emerging powers
Although there is no exact delineation of membership, the term is often used to include the following countries as emerging powers:
- Argentina
- Bangladesh
- Colombia
- Ethiopia
- Iran
- Pakistan
- Philippines
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Taiwan
- Thailand
- United Arab Emirates
- Vietnam
Potential great powers
China and Russia are already considered great powers due to their military and strategic importance, their status as recognised nuclear powers and their permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council, however they are also seen as continuing to increase their global influence and thus regarded as emerging powers.
With continuing European integration, the European Union is increasingly being seen as a great power in its own right, with representation at the WTO and at G8 and G-20 summits. This is most notable in areas where the European Union has exclusive competence (i.e. economic affairs). It also reflects a non-traditional conception of Europe's world role as a global "civilian power", exercising collective influence in the functional spheres of trade and diplomacy, as an alternative to military dominance. The European Union is a supranational union and not a sovereign state, and has limited scope in the areas of foreign affairs and defense policy. These remain largely with the member states of the European Union, which include the three great powers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (referred to as the "EU three").
India is widely regarded as an emerging power and some academics such as the political scientist Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski regard it as having now achieved great power status, and therefore like China and Russia is increasing its global influence.
Permanent membership of the UN Security Council is widely regarded[by whom?] as being a central tenet of great power status in the modern world; Brazil, Germany, India and Japan form the G4 nations which support one another (and have varying degrees of support from the existing permanent members) in becoming permanent members. There are however few signs that reform of the Security Council will happen in the near future.
Additionally, China, the European Union and India are widely speculated by academics[who?] to have the potential of becoming superpowers sometime during the 21st century. Russia, the successor of the Soviet Union, is sometimes said to have the ability to reclaim its superpower status.
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