Listening Beyond the Echo Chamber Emerging Middle Powers Report 2024

A survey of nearly 1,000 experts from three emerging middle powers (India, Brazil and South Africa) as well as from Germany shows that, despite differences among the four countries, there is a common basis for more meaningful engagement and joint approaches for international reform.

IBSA and Germany United: respondents in India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) identify a different foreign policy challenge as most important for each country – climate change for Brazil, relations with China for India, the war in Ukraine and the Middle East for South Africa – as well as international trade for all three. These are global concerns and respondents in Germany share them.

Another basis for meaningful engagement is that respondents in all four countries have high hopes for the G20. This is notable because it is an informal body with a diverse membership but no budget or permanent bureaucracy. The IBSA respondents also show considerable interest in reforming the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) through expansion. While Germany also wants to reform it, German respondents are just as inclined to see it replaced instead.