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The aim of this research, as part of this Special Issue on the thematic and epistemological foci of social science and humanities research emanating in the BRICS countries, is to investigate and to assess the value of such research— firstly, for the BRICS countries mutually, then for the rest of the Global South as well as for the global humanities and social science community at large. The rationale of this research is that the BRICS countries have come to assume a growing gravitas in the world, not only on strength of geography, demography and economy; but also because of the diversity contained in each of these BRICS countries. These diversities offer opportunities to learn a lot from each other, in addition the rest of the gamut of countries in the Global South as well as the nations of the Global North can benefit much from learning from the experience of the BRICS countries. The research commences with a survey of the most compelling societal trends shaping the 21st Century world, which will form the parameters of the context in which scholarship in the social sciences and humanities are destined to be conducted. The state of scholarship in the humanities and the social sciences and the imperatives of context will be the next topic under discussion. Within this landscape, the potential role of research on BRICS soil is then turned to. The BRICS countries are surveyed, then a conclusion is ventured as to their potential as a fountainhead for social sciences and humanities research.
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