In Chapter 1, T.V. Paul raises several important questions about the emerging BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and what the major IR theories say about whether they will be accommodated by the established great powers. For Paul, accommodation means “the emerging power is given the status and perks” of being a great power by the established powers in the international system. He asks what strategies the leading states and the rising powers can use to avoid war and to promote peaceful systemic transformation, and what strategies will lead to the rise of a revisionist state bent on system change.
Balance of power theory argues that changes in the distribution of power are often dangerous and that aggregate power is fungible, and some offensive realists contend that the more power a state possesses, the more it can get whatever it wants. Balance of power has been carried forward into the post-Cold War period to anticipate and forecast the power trends for the rising BRICS states. For instance, the 2013 Department of Defense annual report to Congress states that China increased its defense spending by as much as 20 percent from the previous year. According to IHS Jane's, China's defense spending is expected to double by 2015. Based on current trends, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) forecasts that by 2035, China's defense spending will surpass the United States’. More broadly, IHS Jane's expects that by 2021, Asia Pacific military spending, including China, India, and Indonesia, could surpass the United States’.
A similar power trend is reported for relative economic power. Both the United Nations and Goldman Sachs report that the BRICS, including China, Brazil, and India, are primed to make substantial gains on the United States. The 2013 UN Human Development Report finds that by 2020, the BRICS will surpass the aggregate GDP of the United States and Europe. According to Goldman Sachs, China's GDP will match America's by 2027, will match the leading Western nations’ by 2032, and will then continue to pull ahead into 2065. In less than forty years, Goldman Sachs predicts the BRICS economies together could be larger than the G6 economies. The National Intelligence Council (NIC)'s Global Trends 2030 report corroborates these military and economic diffusion trends.