Global Risks Governance and G20, G8 and BRICS Capabilities
The G8-G20 Relationship in Global Governance, Forthcoming
Posted: 22 Jul 2015
Date Written: September 2015
Global governance challenges generate a demand for global governance from multilateral international institutions that cannot be met by the available supply. The national priorities of the member states of international institutions also shape the demand for collective action. The institutions’ capacity for forging consensus and making collective decisions can be transformed into global governance supply. The country chairing an institution should align both types of demand (global risks and members’ priorities) with the capacity of the institution and its national priorities, interests, and capabilities. The chair should also be guided by a comparative assessment of the effectiveness of international institutions in dealing with specific global problems.
This approach enables the chair to elaborate an innovative agenda on the basis of comparative analysis of the capabilities of plurilateral summit institutions (PSIs) such as the Group of Seven or Eight (G7/8), the Group of 20 (G20), and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to respond to forecasted global challenges. Without constraining the chair’s flexibility, it provides an opportunity to extend cooperation among presidencies, such as the G20 troika of outgoing, current, and incoming presidencies. It also helps enhance coordination across the institutions. Thus for Russia, scheduled to chair the G20 in 2013, the G8 in 2014, and the BRICS in 2015, a sequence of the three presidencies presented a unique opportunity to influence global processes balancing external conditions and national priorities.
This chapter offers a forward-looking, demand-responsive approach to PSI agenda setting and action taking, rather than the prevailing approach of focusing on core subjects, seeing what is undelivered, and shrinking or sinking the rest. It argues that each institution’s work should address the risks and challenges most relevant to its missions and capabilities. The G20 agenda should focus on managing economic risks. The G7/8 should prioritize geopolitical and technological risks. The BRICS summit’s innovative long-term agenda should address societal risks. Such an approach will serve as a solid foundation for a division of labour that maximizes the three institutions’ contribution to overcoming failures in global governance. However, systemic risks arise, such as severe income disparity, the unforeseen negative consequences of regulation, the prolonged neglect of infrastructure, and extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices. These risks demand cooperation and coordination among the G7/8, the G20, and the BRICS. A proper balance between cooperation and the division of labour will enhance the institutions’ capabilities of managing global risks.
Keywords: global governance, G7/8, G20, BRICS, challenges, risks
JEL Classification: F5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation