A Blue BRICS, Maritime Security, and the South Atlantic

François Vreÿ About the author

Abstract

Analysts frequently label the BRICS grouping of states (Brazil, India, Russia, China, and South Africa) as primarily an economic club emphasising economic performances as primary objectives. Co-operation of international groupings are rarely, if ever, set within the context of their access to maritime interests, security, and benefits. A second void stems from the lack of emphasis upon the economic benefits of secured maritime domains. In this vein, a common, but neglected aspect of the BRICS grouping’s power and future influence resides in their maritime domains, the value of which ultimately depends upon the responsible governance and use of ocean territories. The maritime interests of BRICS countries only become meaningful if reinforced by maritime security governance and co-operation in the respective oceans. Presently China and India seem to dominate the maritime stage of BRICS, but the South Atlantic is an often overlooked space. For BRICS the value of the South Atlantic stems from how it secures and unlocks the potential of this maritime space through co-operative ventures between Brazil, South Africa as a late BRICS partner, and West African littoral states in particular. Unfortunately, BRICS holds its own maritime tensions, as member countries also pursue competing interests at sea.

Keywords
Africa; Brazil; BRICS; Maritime Security; South Atlantic; South Africa

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