Projections regarding the future of the global order have traditionally relied on two assumptions: 1) rising powers are gradually “rising from within” the existing global governance infrastructure; and, 2) U.S.-led institutions are robust. To effectively plan in a rapidly changing geopolitical climate, it is important to enhance our socio-cultural understanding of rising powers, their effect on the existing global order, and, as needed, reevaluate these historical assumptions. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries are engaging in revisionist coalitions and creating new institutions or, as some argue, creating a parallel system, that challenge historical U.S. global leadership. This new geopolitical dynamic is already affecting U.S. security interests and raising concerns that the United States could be potentially forced to contend with new and broadly legitimate global norms that it had no part in making. While much of the existing debate looks at hypothetical situations (such as a possible new Cold War or discarding rising power alliances as an analytical unit), it is necessary to analyze rising power alliances through a social and cultural lens.