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CRASSH-CRP Conference: Rising Powers in the International System

When Feb 24, 2012 09:00 AM to
Feb 25, 2012 12:30 PM
Where Alison Richard Building, CRASSH
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Conference Summary 

Burgeoning scholarly and popular interest on the rising powers of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) notwithstanding, there are three important gaps in the literature as well as popular debates. First, the writings remain multi-disciplinary rather than inter-disciplinary (hence, for example, political scientists have chosen to focus on questions of international institutions and rising powers, while economists have concentrated on the growing market size of the BRICs to come up with projections of power in the future). Second, while speculation on the revisionist versus status quo intentions of the new powers (particularly China) is rife, there is only limited analysis of the strategies that rising powers – and indeed established powers – have used to find a place at the High Table of world politics. Insofar as actions speak louder than words, such an analysis is key to both understand the behaviour of the rising powers today and also to predict, and possibly influence, their future actions. Third, interactions between the worlds of policy and academia have remained limited and somewhat superficial. 

This conference addresses all three gaps head on. It offers a unique forum whereby top-notch scholars and leading figures in business and public policy come together to address the central question: what opportunities and challenges does the rise of new powers bring to the international system, and how might the opportunities be optimally harnessed and the threats curtailed? It is hoped that the process of such engagement and exchange across disciplines (Politics, History, Economics) as well as spheres (academic, policy, business, and media) will generate more holistic explanations of the problems, but also offer cutting-edge and feasible solutions.


Organised by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) and the Centre for Rising Powers (CRP), both University of Cambridge.



Supported by Cambridge University Press

Accommodation for non-paper giving delegates

We are unable to arrange accommodation, however, the following websites may be of help.

Visit Cambridge
Cambridge Rooms

University of Cambridge accommodation webpage

NB. CRASSH is not able to help with the booking of accommodation.

Administrative assistance: Helga Brandt (Conference Programme Manager, CRASSH)



Friday, 24 February 2012

9.00 - 9.30


9.30 - 11.00

Panel 1:  Rising Powers in the International System
Chair and Discussant: Professor Andrew Gamble

  • The Rise of the BRICs – Dr Jim O’Neill  (Goldman Sachs)
  • The Historic Struggle for Mastery – Professor Brendan Simms (POLIS, Cambridge; Member, Steering Committee, CRP)
  • Negotiating with and as New Powers – Dr Amrita Narlikar (POLIS, Cambridge; Director, CRP)


11.00 - 11.30

Coffee/tea break

11.30 - 13.00

Panel 2: Challenges and Opportunities in the Global Economy
Chair and Discussant: Professor Willy Brown

  • Losing Control to the BRICs? – Mr Stephen King (HSBC)
  • The Role of Rising Powers in Managing Economic Crises – Mr Zia Qureshi (Director of Strategy and Operations, World Bank)
  • Developmental Policies and Global Governance: Washington versus Beijing Consensus- Dr Christos Pitelis (Director, CIBAM, Judge Business School)

13.00 - 14.00 


14.00 - 15.30 

Panel 3: New Security Threats
Chair and Discussant: Professor Brendan Simms

  • New Security Threats in the New Balance of Power – Sir Richard Dearlove (Master, Pembroke College; Member of Steering Committee, CRP)
  • Energy Security and Climate Change – Dr Eleni Vezirgiannidou (University of Birmingham)
  • Migration and Multiculturalism – Professor Christopher Hill (POLIS; Member, Steering Committee, CRP)

15.30 - 16.00 

Coffee/tea break

16.00 - 17.30

Panel 4: The Changing Balance of Power – Perspectives from the “BRICs”
Chair and Discussant: Dr Amrita Narlikar

  • Brazil as a Rising Power: Ambassador Roberto Jaguaribe (Brazilian Ambassador, London)
  • India as a Rising Power: Ms Xenia Dormandy (Chatham House)
  • China in the Changing Balance of Power: Mr Stephen Bourne (Chief Executive, Cambridge University Press) 

18.00 - 19.00

Reception Sponsored by Cambridge University Press at the CUP Bookshop


Saturday, 24 February 2012

9.00 - 10.30

Panel 5: Securing Stability amidst Global and Regional Change – Perspectives from the established powers
Chair and Discussant: Sir Christopher Hum

  • The US Perspective: Economic Counsellor Julie Nutter (Head, US Embassy Economic Division)
  • The EU and Rising Powers: Dr Markus Gehring (University of Cambridge)
  • Coping with Development Challenges - Professor Chris Whitty (Chief Scientific Advisor, DFID)
  • Rising Powers and UN Security Council Reform: Mr Sam Daws (Foreign and Commonwealth Office & University of Oxford)

10.30 - 11.00 

Coffee/tea break

11.00 - 12.30 

Panel 6: Solutions and Ways Forward
Chair and Discussant: Dr Amrita Narlikar

Round Table Panel Discussion led by CRP Members

  • Norms and the emerging global orderProfessor Andrew Hurrell (Balliol, Oxford; Member of CRP International Advisory Board)
  • Institutional solutions – multilateral and regional: Professor Andrew Gamble (POLIS, Cambridge; Member of CRP Steering Committee)
  • Re-negotiating the development aid model: competition and cooperation by the Rising Powers: Mr Dan Kim (CRP Research Associate)
  • The G20: opportunities and challenges for rising powers: Ms Maha Kamel (CRP Research Associate)




* The conference organizer, Dr Amrita Narlikar, thanks Cambridge University Press for sponsoring this event.

Please click below to download the presentations:

Jim O’Neill – The rise of the BRICs
Zia Qureshi – The Role of Rising Powers in Managing Economic Crises
Christos Piteli – Developmental Policies and Global Governance: Washington versus Beijing Consensus
Eleni Vezirgiannidou – Energy Security and Climate Change: The effects of rising powers
Markus Gehring – The EU and Rising Powers
Dan Kim – Re-negotiating the Development Aid Model


Video from the Rising Powers in the International System conference, featuring Professor Andrew Gamble (Head of Department, POLIS), Dr. Amrita Narlikar (Director, CRP), Dr. Jim O'Neill (Goldman Sachs), and Professor Brendan Simms (POLIS)

'Governance, Domestic Change, and Social Policy in China. 100 Years after the Xinhai Revolution' edited by Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Kun-Chin Lin

Read more

'Bargaining with a Rising India. Lessons from the Mahabharata' by Amrita Narlikar and Aruna Narlikar is now available at Oxford University Press.

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International Affairs Special Issue, May 2013, Negotiating the Rise of New Powers

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