Conservative Globalizers: Reconsidering the Rise of the Rest

The current downgrading of the BRICS’ economic prospects and their future global role has probably overshot reality. Although China’s boom is over and its high-growth years are unlikely to return, these economies, after a difficult adjustment, are likely to outpace their industrialized counterparts, which face their own demographic and economic barriers to sustained growth. Furthermore, the BRICS’ global ambitions—economic as well as political—are unlikely to disappear, even though their economic clout may be temporarily diminished.
This is a thought provoking article that is difficult to summarize. IMO the implications are worthy of consideration, especially the impacts of globalization facilitating power shifts between people, businesses, and their governments when it comes to influencing policy.

Even before China’s recent economic slowdown and the collapse in commodity prices, however, all three countries faced daunting domestic agendas—economic and social inequality, environmental degradation and political corruption—impeding their rise as a force in global politics and governance. Meanwhile, more-open economies and globalized politics produced an army of actors and audiences with a stake in their external relations, meaning that foreign policy could no longer be managed as a purely elite operation. These limitations on the expansion of their global influence became more apparent with the end of the China-driven boom.
Foreign policy activism played well to nationalist audiences at home, but the recent record of India, China, and Brazil reinforces their earlier role as conservative globalizers. Their political leadership continued to consider economic success—and domestic support—as inseparable from integration with the international economy and participation in a reformed global order.
This difficult political and economic environment could produce three possible outcomes
Increased nationalism focused on risks posed by outside actors.

Retreat from claims of global leadership.

Revert to free riding on the existing global order.

While the article focused on China, India, and Brazil (provided numerous examples for each), when it discussed U.S. options, many of the same factors limiting options for the rising powers are impacting the U.S. and Europe.

Given the rise of populist and nationalist political forces in Europe and the United States, such efforts may not be politically feasible, and even if they were, they may not be adequate for the rough economic and political waters that may lie ahead.
The author doesn't pretend to know how the future will unfold, which is refreshing, but he does point to some very credible potential risks. Strategy is much broader, or shall we say grander, than the employment of the military to achieve a political object.