Assessing G7/8 and G20 Effectiveness in Global Governance
The G8-G20 Relationship in Global Governance, Forthcoming
Posted: 22 Jul 2015
Date Written: September 2015
As the global community reflects on the contentious outcomes of the summits of the Group of 20 (G20) and looks to future presidencies to come up with ambitious agendas, the legitimacy and effectiveness of both the G20 and the Group of Seven (G7) and the Group of Eight (G8) are put to the test.
The G20’s claim to serve as the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation needs to be supported by its ability to show political leadership in steering the world to a new international order, deliver on its pledges, account for decisions made at its summits, and engage with a wide range of partners. The G20’s early success in managing the global financial crisis does not predetermine its role as a global governance steering committee. Although it may have eclipsed the smaller group, assertions of the demise of the G7/8 are premature. Much qualitative analysis supports the sometimes contradictory perspectives on the future of G7/8 and G20 summitry.
This chapter attempts to put both institutions within the same assessment paradigm using a functional approach. This approach allows a comparison of the G7/8 and G20 across three groups of indicators: the performance of global governance functions, accountability, and compliance; contribution to the global governance agenda; and engagement with other international institutions. It thus contributes to a quantifiable evidence base for assessing the effectiveness of these two institutions and informing the forecast of their future roles.
This analysis looks at the balance and dynamics of the main global governance functions of deliberation, direction setting, decision making, delivery, and the development of global governance as expressed in G7/8 and G20 documents, including summit declarations, ministerial statements, progress reports, and material issued by officials and working groups. Contribution to the global governance agenda was assessed on the basis of comparative weights of the key issues in G8 and G20 documents, the dynamics of their agendas, and responsiveness to new challenges. Finally, the contribution of the two groups to effective multilateralism was assessed on the basis of the intensity and modes of engagement with other multilateral institutions on key priorities and values. The analysis covers the period from 2008, when the G20 leaders first began meeting, to 2013.
Keywords: G7/G8, G20, global governance functions, compliance, accountability
JEL Classification: F5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation