Deconstructing the BRICS

Colin Sparks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article questions the utility of considering Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa as a single grouping-the BRICS. Not only are there at least as many differences between the countries' economies and media as there are similarities, but many of their characteristic features are shared with a much wider range of societies. The scale and rates of growth of the five economies are very different. Politically, they range from a long-established democracy to an equally long-established one-party state. They all have high levels of corruption, including of journalists, but estimates of the degree of media freedom and the degree to which journalists are jailed or murdered vary widely. Overall, there is little to warrant considering these countries as a homogenous bloc. Of these countries, China is by far the largest and the only one that is today a serious challenger to Western domination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-418
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication


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