Assessing G8 and G20 Effectiveness in Global Governance
As the global community reflects on the contentious outcomes of the G20 successive summits and looks forward to the Australian Presidency to come up with ambitious agendas, both G8 and G20 legitimacy and effectiveness are put to test.
The G20’s claim for responsibility to act as the premier forum for international economic cooperation needs to be confirmed by its capability to show political leadership in steering the world to a new international order, deliver on its pledges, account for decisions made in the summits, as well as engage with a wide range of partners. It is still not obvious that an early success of the G20 summitry as an anti-crisis management mechanism pre-determines its establishment as a global governance steering board. Though the G20 eclipsed the G8, assertions of the G8 demise are premature. There is a lot of qualitative analysis advancing arguments in support of sometimes contradictory perspectives of the G8/G20 summitry future.
This chapter attempts to put both institutions within the same assessment paradigm on the basis of a functional approach. This approach allows compare the G8 and G20 across at least three groups of indicators: performance of global governance functions, accountability and compliance performance; contribution towards global governance agenda; and engagement with other international institutions. Thus, the study contributes to building a quantifiable evidence base for an assessment of the G20 and G8 effectiveness and to informing the forecast of their future roles.
On the main global governance functions of deliberation, direction-setting, decisionmaking, delivery and global governance development performance the research looks at the balance and dynamics of these functions in the G20 and G8 documents (the documents include the summits’ declarations, ministerials’ statements, progress reports, experts’ and working groups’ documents).19 Contribution to global governance agenda was assessed on the basis of comparative weights of the key global governance issues in the G8 and G20 documents, dynamics of the agendas and the institutions’ responsiveness to new challenges. Finally, the G8 and G20 comparative contribution to effective multilateralism was assessed on the basis of the intensity and modes of their engagement with other multilateral institutions on key priorities and values. The timeframe of analysis covers the G8/G20 coexistence period from 2008 to 2013.