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India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA): South-South cooperation and the paradox of regional leadership

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This article argues that the long-term sustainability of the trilateral partnership established in 2003 between India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) rests on a more conscious engagement with their regional partners. The construction of a strong regional leadership role for IBSA based on its members' strategic positions in South Asia, South America, and southern Africa is the proper common ground to legitimize a diplomatic partnership between the IBSA states. This is even more pressing as China is actively competing for markets and influence with the IBSA trio within their respective regions, particularly in Africa. The paradox, though, is that while Northern powers have welcomed the regional leadership role of IBSA's members, most of their neighbors are not convinced of the actual intentions of New Delhi, Brasilia, and Pretoria. As a result, leadership within IBSA is defined in global terms as a claim to lead the developing world. At the regional level, however, IBSA's claim for leadership is less clear, less acceptable, and therefore remains constrained.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/39728/

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