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The Image-Forming of the BRICS in The Economist

Analysis of the framing and its ideology
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Marcelo Paiva

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of The Image-Forming of the BRICS in The Economist

The Image-Forming of the BRICS in
The Economist Marcelo de Paiva Analysis of the framing and its ideology The Image-Forming of the BRICS in
The Economist a) Database

b) Methodology

1. Analysis of B
2. Analysis of R
3. Analysis of I
4. Analysis of C
5. Analysis of S

6.Analysis of BRICS as block

7. Debate about ideology

8. Reflections Contents It was used in this work 23 articles from The Economist Online.
During the construction of the database, it was selected the time cut for the analysis: the closing of 2012.
Some resources on scholars may apply here:
Raoul Girardet, Martin Seliger, Louis Althusser, Terry Eagleton, J. L Austin. Resources 4 Articles Brazil 4 Articles Russia 4 Articles China 3 Articles India 2 Articles South Africa 6 Articles BRICS The analysis will be given primarily focusing on each news from each country.

In this first instance, the goal is to understand what are the standards used to define the country's direction of the news (in a unified perspective);

The bridges of each country with other BRICS country and ultimately with the BRICS itself. Analysis National Chengchi University This work aims to be preferentially qualitative.

It is believed that the research of the image of the BRICS at the closing time frame of 2012 in The Economist can elucidate relations of economic ideology in the international post-crisis.

It is intended to understand the image of the BRICS conveyed separately and in the emerging market context.

It is intended to perceive the relations of each part (B + R + I + C + S)
a) in an isolated image
b) in comparison
c) on a global image.

The research aims to understand the various instances that elaborate the concept of BRICS in 2012.

Finally, the work seeks to understand how is the formation of a political concept into a media platform. Assumptions & Premises The choice of the articles was made using three criteria:


a) Article with broad approach


b) Article about economic analysis as a whole.


c) article that fits in the proposed temporal cut (with the exception of an article about the BRICS in 2010 that brings its image-formation as a reference) Cautions First Instance Understanding the BRICS

The image is perceived by the following maxims:

Stalled, Backlash, over-optimistic, weaknesses.
politics: hostile attitude towards the private sector, keeping inflation under control, The worry is that the president herself is meddler-in-chief.

SO RARELY has political corruption led to punishment in Brazil however, [...] surprisingly disagreeable close for some prominent wrongdoers.

education and urban life: Brazilian education spending is already in line with the rich-world average, but with much poorer results. a country of yawning inequalities.

economics: the economy is on the verge of vigorous growth that never seems to come. It then ground to a halt and is now struggling to recover. [...] no longer rising.
Its torpid economy ground to a halt in the middle of last year.
overvalued currency and astronomic interest rates.

GDP: anaemic 2.7% and Brazil is seeing its worst growth performance in over a decade.

the combination of red tape, heavy taxes, expensive credit, creaking infrastructure and an overvalued currency that makes it a punishingly expensive country to do business in.


when it comes to BRICS:

[...] These days Russia is portrayed as a corrupt petrostate. India is ensnared in red tape, unable to muster the political will to break free. The mighty Chinese economy has slowed in recent weeks Even South Africa, which considers itself to be the “S” in BRICs, seems sluggish and hidebound next to the gazelles to its north. Analysis of Brasil The image is perceived by the following maxims:

terrible place to do business, nightmarish system, Russianness, new ideology? Russia’s bloody past


politics: chaotic reform and ended with spiralling corruption—and were marked throughout by perilous dependence on extractive industries. its suffocating bureaucracy, unreliable courts (just ask BP) and organised crime. FOR a man known for his pragmatism —even cynicism—President Vladimir Putin [...] revitalisation of a “provincial intelligentsia”. The anti-Putin protesters are coming under rising pressure

But his philosophical task is a hard one. Mr Putin and his advisers would like to foster the notion that Russia is not the West.

Urban Life: colossal lack of trust between people and the state. it is hard to pull people onto the streets

economics: Russia’s crony-capitalism, its dependence on energy and minerals, Russia urgently needs a more diversified economy. The economy’s jolt into recession in 2009, when it shrank by almost 8%.

Yet the only way for the country to build truly solid foundations is for Mr Putin to espouse the reforms he regards as so dangerous.

When it comes to BRICS: The club’s impact [entry in WTO] will not be perfect, any more than it has been for China. Analysis of Russia The image is perceived by the following maxims:

[...]imperial neglect to the cult of the village and big-ticket socialism [...] MIRAGE

politics: loosen policy [so divid, so erratic], pragmatism, government inept and ambivalent. [a time bomb] red tape, public frustation

urban life: [... ]So it’s a shame that the country is so bad at managing its huge cities [...] BOOM in the urban living. No consensus
Infrasctruture in India: RIPPP

economics: losing money , cronysm, flood back, Fresh activity has stalled, The [economical] condition of these projects is murky, tight fiscal policy

If India's economic miracle turns out to have been a mirage, it will not be so easy to dismiss that kind of talk as cranky.

GDP: Growth in India was 5.3% in the three months to March—worse than the 6% expected. the worst for at least nine years

When it comes to BRICS: [India] a BRIC hits the wall


in relation to other countries in the bloc: India’s public sector, unlike China’s, is skint and often seems to struggle to tie its shoelaces.
India, unlike the other BRIC countries, is still desperately poor. Analysis of India Analysis of China The image is perceived by the following

deep malaise, unequal, dream against aparthaid, chronic failure of government , corruption,

Politics: African National Congress (ANC) has been buffeted by infighting, divisions and thuggish violence. South Africa is now going backwards. South Africa is now going backwards. And yet in other ways South Africa is in a worse state than at any point since 1994.

its people have made progress.

Urban Life: The starkest measure of South Africa’s failure is the yawning gap between rich and poor. Since apartheid came to an end, a tiny black elite has accrued great fortunes. But that has only widened the wealth gap. After 18 years of full democracy, South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world.

education: Persistent inequality is in part down to the government’s failure to educate young South Africans, particularly black ones. Report, South Africa ranks 132nd out of 144 countries for its primary education and 143rd for the quality of its science and maths. Chronically poor education means that thousands of jobs go unfilled. [They would welcome some textbooks]


The past two months’ industrial strife is about more than just pay or perks. The protests are a symptom of the deep malaise that has taken hold of South Africa.

Economics: The unrest then spread to farms in Western Cape province, where protests against low wages persist. It has been a painful few months—for him ( South Africa’s president) and for South Africa Analysis of South Africa Image-Forming of BRICS Corpus Resources Contents The Framing Assumptions & Premises Cautions which BRICS News? Analysis in first instance Analysis in second instance Reflections of Ideology Analysis Second Instance Official Standard of BRICS
Closing 2012 Members of BRICS in comparison The image is perceived by the following maxims:

To each not according to his need, the communist China,
(ironic) China, brink of revolution, Chinese “left”, The world has much more to fear from a weak, unstable China than from a strong one.

politics: Xi Jinping [The man who must change China] does Mr Xi have the courage and vision to see that assuring his country’s prosperity and stability in the future requires him to break with the past?

today China faces a set of threats that an official journal describes as “interlocked like dog’s teeth”

The poor chafe at inequality, corruption, environmental ruin and land-grabs by officials. The middle class fret about contaminated food and many protect their savings by sending money abroad and signing up for foreign passports

“press ahead with restructuring of the political system”. Mr Xi could start by giving a little more power to China’s people.

Despite its many faults, it has created wealth and hope that an older generation would have found unimaginable.

urban life: Surveying China’s multitudes is a daunting task. Not everyone was willing to answer questions. the extent of Chinese income inequality. By 2008 rural incomes averaged less than 30% of urban disposable incomes.

economics: Mr Hu promised a more balanced path of development in pursuit of a more “harmonious” society. Growth has slowed to less than 8% this year. China’s development has traditionally favoured the city over the countryside and the coast over inland regions.

Mr Hu also sought more balanced growth. But his efforts to expand the role of household consumption failed.

GDP: [...]Unfortunately that sentiment is not in harmony with balanced growth.


when it comes to BRICS:

THANKS to apartheid, broken job markets and monopolistic mining, South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. The top 10% of households pocketed 58% of the income in 2008, according to researchers at the University of Cape Town. The country’s Gini coefficient, which measures inequality on a scale of 0 to 1, was 0.7.

But South Africa’s inequality may soon be equalled by an unexpected rival: communist China. Inside B+R+I+C+S news Inside BRICS news China: better use of the WTO in comparison with Russia, minor slowdown, public sector better than Indian one, measurer inequality is reaching the leader South Africa, greater reference to [left]

Russia: greater reference to bureaucracy than other members. more references to political ideology against the West (loses to China)

India: portrayed as the poorest one, the only one whose economy is portrayed as mirage. References to neglected country.

Brazil: although better structure than some other members, is portrayed as the getting-weaker in America economically to play its role in BRICS for its lack of elasticity.

South Africa: portrayed as the most unequal [close to losing the seat to China] inequality of wealth and education was measured primarily by varieavel black-white people.

BRICS: High reference to bureaucracy, terrible place to do business [exception of China], inequality, lack of infrastructure, recession, overestimation, participation of government meddling in the economy [or lack of policies to improve], pragmatism, corruption, social disharmony, [...] China: reported its slowest growth in three years / launched a huge stimulus

India: recently recorded its weakest performance since 2004. Delay in public reform.

Brazil: has virtually stalled. / Brazil’s state-owned banks lavished credit, interest rates were slashed. Delay in public reform.

Russia: only Russia was spared [from the wave] (and even there growth is vulnerable to falling energy prices) In Russia, where the priority should be diversification away from excessive dependence on oil and gas.

South Africa: South Africa is a notable casualty. [of the dependence to the world economy]

BRICS: By rich-world standards, the emerging markets are still doing exceedingly well.
[...] But getting back up to the speed of the past decade will mean maintaining the macroeconomic discipline and returning to the microeconomic reforms that made it possible in the first place. But after a dream decade, something is amiss. China is now struggling to grow as fast as 8% (its GDP expanded by 7.6% in the year to the second quarter). India, a country that once aspired to double-digit growth, can now only dream of ridding itself of double-digit inflation.

None of the biggest emerging economies stands on the edge of a dramatic financial precipice, like their counterparts in the euro area, or a fiscal cliff, like America’s. But their economic prospects have nonetheless started to head downhill.

It now looks as if Brazil and Russia may fall short of this projection [like in 2003 growth]. But and China and India can still dream of fulfilling it.

Summertime Blues.

Making matters worse, the slowdown is also affecting emerging economies. Among the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Brazil’s fall from grace has been particularly marked: its growth in early 2012 was anaemic.

Falling interest on the economy in the BRICS countries? The graphics seekers show a greater interest in Lady Gaga. Counterpoints about the BRICS in the platform media The premise of the birth of BRICS was to serve as a counterpoint to the OECD order. However, in the framing of the closing of 2012 from The Economist, it was perceived that the function of BRICS is to serve as a complex casualty of the world post-crisis. Would the BRICS sustain itself even though it is in a great backlash?

BRICS represents a threat to itself once it can no longer proceed with its pattern of growth. It is given that BRICS is not a symbol of B+R+I+C but a symbol of a syndrome. It represents a disorder of overwhelming numbers. Brazil holds the title of a ex-colony in the New World, Russia plays as a loser cold-war member with its failed socialism.

China represents a red world of a great communist imperium. India is portrayed as a messy country with mess policy. South Africa is a wannabe not-apartheid community which is known by its inequality itself. When together, BRICS is a block of problematic countries that matters in the post-crisis scenario.

It was perceived that BRICS is not a prosperous player. it is rather a legitimacy-holder of the rich world played by the USA and Europe.

It is a new character of the same third-world but in another perspective. It is not a threat, it is an evaluator of the expectations from the status-quo. It is a game about nationalities that supports the theory of world balance. In the closing of 2012, BRICS plays two perfomances: the pseodo savior of the breakdown and the weakness that is actually accelerating the world crash. Even with all these perceptions, we can notice some particularities:

China will certainly rule the world when it comes to the manpower issue in the well-developed countries.
Brazil and Russia will still hold the title of manufacturing-suppliers.

India will come with its free technology. However, when put together in a block, BRICS is a failure. In The Economist, the block is more associated as an in-danger zone against the new heavyweights countries (Indonesia, Peru, Malaysia [...] China must be an exception) and the already runner-up well-developed countries such as Mexico and South Korea.

It is not seen as a threat to Euro-zone and USA; although both entities are slipping over. BRICS is perceived already as a once-hot idea that no longer takes itself too seriously anymore.

The most recent news about BRICS itself was related to the lost of interest of their citizens about their own economy. They seem to rather search about Lady Gaga. BRICS is losing its strength when it comes to its symbol of new-horizon. Ideology and conclusions The ideology, Althusser says, "expresses a desire, a hope or a nostalgia, rather than describing a reality ";

Martin Seliger rightly argues in favor of such a formulation, defining ideology as

"sets of ideas by which men [sic] posit, explain and justify the ends and means of organized social action, especially political action, any that is the goal of this action is to preserve, amend, uproot or rebuild a certain social order "

In the words of philosopher J. L. Austin, ideology is a language more "performative" that "constative".


Could be the BRICS one ideology about international syndrome,

parameters of liberal perspectives or Keynesian perspectives? structuring symbol of a given social order? Playing with symbols BRICS World ≠ B+R+I+C+S World ≠ b+r+i+C+s World one approach with higher recurrence: Set of nations with some relation of international syndrome + overwhelming numbers Economical Order Economical Situation Third player [Mexico+Indonesia+Malaysia+Peru ...] legitimation Thanks for your attention.
Comments are more than welcome. Marcelo Paiva
National Chengchi University
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