The New Economic Powers (NEPs): Leadership opportunities post-crisis
& William O’Boyle
Published: September 2009
In the wake of the global financial and economic crises, much attention has been focused on large developing economies, particularly the BRICs, and their role in the new economic landscape. Focusing on trends in demographics and output, the emergence of the BRICs crystallised the notion that there was a group of up-and-coming economies towards which global attention was shifting. Over time, however, the term has transcended purely economic considerations – it is an acknowledgement that large emerging economies will play a more important role on the world political stage as well. While the BRICs are major protagonists, they are not completely representative of this global shift – the field of potential global players is undoubtedly larger. This paper examines a group of ten countries that will play an important role in global economics and politics, focusing on the current state of their engagement in the international system, and their representation in the global financial architecture. A critical look at the roles and responsibilities of new actors is particularly important in the current environment as the crisis presents emerging powers with an unprecedented opportunity to increase their level of engagement in both economic and political spheres, as well as to play leadership roles in systemically important initiatives.