The Legitimacy of the G20 - A Critique Under International Law

23 Pages Posted: 1 May 2014

See all articles by Kern Alexander

Kern Alexander

University of Zurich

Karin Lorez

University of Zurich

Martin Zobl

University of Zurich

Daniel Thürer

University of Zurich

Date Written: April 14, 2014

Abstract

The G20 has become the preeminent international economic and financial policy making body in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. In the early phase of the financial crisis, the G20 made considerable progress with its measures to stabilize the global economy (London Summit of 2009). However, its subsequent initiatives have not kept pace with the challenges of a weakening global economy and the need for effective international financial regulatory reforms. This lack of success can be attributed in part to the G20’s unaccountable institutional structure that lacks legitimacy under international law. The G20's current institutional structure fails to respect the principle of a democratic and equitable international order as set forth in various United Nations instruments. To overcome these institutional shortcomings, this article considers a number of proposals to reform the G20 and to enhance international economic governance. This would lead to a redefined and broader mandate for the G20, allowing non-G20 countries to participate in a meaningful way in G20 policy formulation. It also suggests that the G20 integrate its operations more durably to existing international economic organisations, such as the UN ECOSOC, IMF, World Bank and WTO, in order to build a more effective and complementary global economic governance structure. By doing so, the G20 would enhance its effectiveness and credibility in addressing the important challenges facing the global economy.

Keywords: legitimacy, G20, group of twenty, critique, international law, law, G20 critique, G20 legitimacy

JEL Classification: K19, K30, K33, K39

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Samuel Kern and Lorez, Karin and Zobl, Martin and Thürer, Daniel, The Legitimacy of the G20 - A Critique Under International Law (April 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2431164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2431164

Samuel Kern Alexander (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

74/22 Ramistrasse
Zurich, Zurich 8001
Switzerland
+41 (0)44 634 3102 (Phone)

Karin Lorez

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Martin Zobl

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Daniel Thürer

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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