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Rising Middle Classes in Emerging Economies

Editorial | The Middle Classes in Latin America: Media Hype and Detailed Analysis | Brazil’s New Middle Class: Here to Stay? | Black Professionals and the ANC in the 2014 Election: Loosening Ties? | Britain Remains United, but What Now? | Change in Government in the World´s Largest Muslim Country

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Rising Middle Classes in Emerging Economies

  • Editorial

    The growth of the middle classes is a global trend. In that respect, the opportunities go hand in hand with socio-economic and complex political challenges. If the achievements of governments continually lag behind people’s expectations, this is likely to generate increasing potential for unrest in individual societies. With regard to these tensions, how can middle classes in emerging economies become politically engaged and remain competitive at the same time?

    by Gerhard Wahlers

  • The Middle Classes in Latin America

    Media Hype and Detailed Analysis

    The World Bank estimates that the Latin American middle class has grown to 152 million people between 2003 and 2009. However, a political or societal debate on the sustainability of this ongoing trend appears to be insufficient. What remains is an ambivalent feeling. Poverty is decreasing, growth is being praised, whereas risks and negative side effects are neglected. Therefore, a critical analysis of the consequences of the growth of the middle classes in Latin America is necessary.

    by Stefan Jost

  • Brazil’s New Middle Class

    Here to Stay?

    More than ten years ago, one third of Brazil’s population lived below the national poverty line. Today, more than half of them belong to the middle class. Members of this group are trying to find their societal and political role. They are worried about how to secure their new modest wealth. What are the chances to consolidate and continue this success?

    by Friedrich Christian Matthäus, Kathrin Zeller

  • Black Professionals and the ANC in the 2014 Election

    Loosening Ties?

    The growing black middle class of South Africa has increasingly become the subject of interest for political parties. Noticeably, more political parties campaigned for votes from that sector in society in the 2014 Parliamentary elections. Members of that group still show a stronger preference for the ruling ANC. However, prior to the general elections, there was reason to suppose that black middle class support for the ANC had begun to decline, and that this would prove a significant factor at the polls.

    by Amuzweni Ngoma

Other Topics

  • Change in Government in the World’s Largest Muslim Country

    Joko Widodo wird siebter Staatspräsident Indonesiens

    More than 190 million Indonesians were called to the polls in July to elect a new president. The winner is Joko Widodo, Jakarta’s former governor and a favorite of the media. In order to enforce his ambitious reform agenda parliamentary and political power within his party are required. Jokowi enjoys both of these only to a limited degree.

    by Jan Woischnik

  • Britain Remains United, but What Now?

    Das Schottland Referendum und seine Folgen

    On 18 September 2014, the majority of Scottish voters opted against their country gaining independence from the United Kingdom. Everything indicates that, though the issue has been concluded (for now), the discussion about the political reorganisation of the country has only just begun.

    by Hans-Hartwig Blomeier

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International Reports (IR) is the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's periodical on international politics. It offers political analyses by our experts in Berlin and from more than 100 offices across all regions of the world. Contributions by named authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial team.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388