The criteria for selection was the author's standout contribution to the intellectual debate in 2012, and as the magazine states in its December issue, Breakout Nations debunks the conventional wisdom that the emerging markets of the last decade will continue to drive global growth in the next one.
Sharma is the top ranked Indian national, ahead of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and chief economic advisor Raghuram Rajan, who are the other prominent Indian nationals on the list. The list of thinkers features a wide array of individuals, from political leaders such as Aung San Suu Kyi and Hilary Clinton to investors Warren Buffett and George Soros along with economists Ben Bernanke and Paul Krugman.
The Foreign Policy issue also includes an article adapted from Sharma's book on the seven new breakout nations to watch out for in 2013. As Sharma states in the article: Today's global economy is all about moderate, uneven growth, with stars emerging in previously underappreciated nations. Forget about BRICS, the Philippines, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, Poland, Sri Lanka and Nigeria are the real Breakout Nations to watch.