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McDowell Discusses BRICS, the Dollar and Risks to US Global Power in Financial Times, Foreign Policy

September 6, 2023

Financial Times,Foreign Policy

Daniel McDowell

Daniel McDowell

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) recently met in Johannesburg for a major summit, where Moscow and Beijing aim to solidify a counterbalance to the Western-led international system.

There’s a growing appetite among other countries for an alternative to the U.S.-led system: Some 40 countries, from Argentina to Saudi Arabia to Kazakhstan, have voiced interest in joining BRICS. 

One major proposal some leaders floated ahead of the summit is developing a BRICS common currency to hedge against the U.S. dollar, although experts are highly skeptical of the plan.

Talk of a BRICS common currency is “really a reflection of a desire among some segments of the world to have some counterweight to the U.S., the U.S. economy, the dollar,” Daniel McDowell, associate professor of political science, tells Foreign Policy. But “I think most of this is just in fantasy land, because I don’t see any world in which it is really going to emerge in the way some people might hope.”

McDowell was also interviewed for the Financial Times article, "China capitalises on US sanctions in fight to dethrone dollar." 

“This is less about the dollar losing its position as the world’s top currency,” McDowell says. “But I genuinely do believe there are risks here for U.S. power, especially the ability to use sanctions against China.”

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