India, Brazil and South Africa are major emerging powers, significant in their regional and global contexts. On some levels they face similar development challenges. Unlike China, their democracies impose particular constraints on the way they address those challenges, but also afford opportunities not open to China. In a world in which fascination with Chinese success seems to increasingly overwhelm other vantage points this ‘democracy dividend’ is seldom appreciated and frequently over-looked. Consequently there is much to be gained through cross-country learning.

This is the focus of a new initiative recently established by the Centre for Development and Enterprise in South Africa. It focuses on the nexus between democracy and inclusive economic growth in India, Brazil, and South Africa, with the emphasis on the political economy of pursuing market reforms in each country. The initiative’s purpose is to promote cross-country learning in order to better inform domestic policy making in each country, but also to influence global debates concerning market reform in developing countries.

The first publication, which Peter Draper played a substantial role in delivering, has just been released.