Economic convergence of the large emerging economies (Brazil, China and India) on the incumbent industrialized economic powers has produced divergent predictions: rising powers are viewed as challengers of existing global governance or nascent supporters of the status quo. The preferences of rising powers, as revealed in global economic negotiations and international security regimes, indicate that they are moderate reformers that seek greater influence within existing forums and also attempt to safeguard their policy-making autonomy. Even if their preferences change, the translation of growing economic weight into usable capabilities is not automatic. Domestic political constraints often make the mobilization of capabilities difficult in international bargaining. Strategies of collective action, whether South-South or regional, have not yet produced a consistent increase in bargaining power at the global level. The counter-strategies of delay and cooptation implemented by the incumbent powers have maintained incumbent influence and enhanced the legitimacy of existing global governance institutions. Risks of conflict remain along three negotiating divides: system friction, distributional conflict and institutional efficiency. Institutional innovations such as greater transparency, institutional flexibility and construction of informal transnational networks may provide modest insurance against a weakening of global governance and its institutions.