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IR - One Definition A Day : BEMs (Big Emerging Markets)

IR - One Definition A Day:  BEMs or Big Emerging Markets (p. 50, Ref. 1)

These are ten states identifed by the US Department of Commerce in 1994 as potential growth points within the international Economy.

The ten are: China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Poland and Turkey.

The stipulation of these BEMs has a number of repercussions at both the international system and the foreign policy levels. It further weakens the value of such catch-all terms as 'South' and 'Third World'. Like the term NIC and the colloquial 'Asian Tigers', it shows that a group of states previously thought of as being in the Third World (or even the Second World in the case of Poland) have now been promoted into some higher division. 

It also reinforces the pervasive influence of economic liberalism as arguably a dominant paradigm in international relations since these states are without question following market orientated paths to development. At the foreign policy level it shows how with the end of the Cold War, the USA is no longer pursuing its foreign policy interests in a bipolar framework.

(Source: Penguin Dictionary of IR)



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