The BRICS Group in the Spotlight: an Interdisciplinary Approach
More than 40% of the inhabitants of the planet live in the BRICS countries, and one fifth of the world’s wealth is generated from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. What is also important to consider, when talking about the BRICS, is how fast these emerging countries are becoming main actors, and often real protagonists, in fields such as world economics, geopolitics and global opportunities. This publication collects the proceedings of the international conference “The BRICS Group in the Spotlight”, held on the 6-7 November 2014 at University of Parma. This conference aimed to encourage systematic, interdisciplinary analysis about the importance of BRICS vis-à-vis contemporary debates in the socio-political, economic, geopolitical and legal studies realms. This volume gathers 16 research contributions from 24 scholars from all around the world. It is divided into four parts: BRICS and global politics; BRICS, socio-economic rights and social inequalities; BRICS’ economic dimensions; BRICS, sustainable development and energy.
Health is an indispensable public good. At the national level it has been manifested in the BRICS governments’ commitment to scale up health financing, though to a different degree. At the global level it is evidenced by the international community progress on the three health-related Millennium Development Goals. However despite successes in fighting infectious diseases, child and maternal mortality, old risks persist and new challenges emerge, resulting from the 2008 financial crisis, current slack economic growth and growing economic inequality.
The BRICS face these challenges and have begun cooperation on health issues. It is important that they build their emerging health agenda recognizing these challenges, committing to develop sustainable policy solutions, and cooperating with other actors to promote effective health governance for change.
To explore how the BRICS contribute towards global health governance the article first considers the BRICS cooperation (its institutionalization, discourse, and engagement with other international institutions) with a focus on health issues. The authors then look into the BRICS members’ national health systems, challenges and goals. The article concludes with expectations of the BRICS future health agenda and its implications for global governance.