Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures

flags of brazil, russia, india and china

About us


The emergence of the so-called ‘rising powers’ – including but not limited to China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia – represents one of the key drivers of global economic and social change. Given the enormity of their potential impact on the global systems, these nations represent a priority challenge to social scientific understanding with outcomes likely to be of importance to government, business and citizens. Questions around the contribution of the rising powers to recovery from the financial crisis and Western recession underline the growing interdependency of the various major global powers. This is further illustrated by the key environmental challenges facing our shared planet, where the world’s poorest are most at risk if interdependence is not addressed.

Research projects

The ‘Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures’ network includes 12 research projects that aim to address these issues from different angles, drawing on a variety of disciplinary approaches across the social sciences. Financed under the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Rising Powers Research Programme, our projects aim to explore ongoing changes within the Rising Powers as well as their impact on other countries, including the UK. In addition, we are looking at the implications of Rising Powers on processes of global governance to address current economic, social and environmental challenges.

Research outcomes

The outcomes of our research will inform policy-makers, academics, companies and civil society in the UK and beyond. As individual projects and collectively, we aim to increase understanding of the current drivers of global economic and social change and contribute to better informed responses. In order to maximize the relevance of our research in this regard, several of the projects are closely cooperating with practitioners throughout the research process. Furthermore, joint policy workshops will allow combining the practical insights emerging from our different project perspectives.

A summary of our research outcomes can be found in our briefing document below:

Principal Investigator Dr Khalid Nadvi discusses the Rising Powers programme.

Dr Glen Noble discusses the Rising Powers programme and the Economic and Social Research Council.