The crack in the BRIC

The latest Transparency International report on perceptions of corruption is out, and Russia doesn't fare well.

The country has dropped to 158th place (out of 178), and now shares a score of 2.1 with Cameroon and Tajikistan. It’s also the most corrupt of the Brics.....India came in at 116th, with a score of 3.4, while China ranked 78th at 3.5, and Brazil ranked 69th with a score of 3.7.

For a term coined by an investment bank almost a decade ago, the BRIC label has been remarkably durable. And at certain moments, the BRIC countries themselves have embraced a group identity, even holding summits the last two years. But the latest report raises the question of whether B, I, and C may not wish to be so closely associated with R in the future. After all, China's economic performance dwarfs Russia's. And Brazil and India are justifiably proud that they've managed to pair strong economic growth with vibrant democracy. If they do conclude that they're better off without being constantly linked to Russia, however, they'll have to figure out how to extricate themselves from a grouping they didn't create in the first place.


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