1st Edition

The G8 System and the G20 Evolution, Role and Documentation

By Peter I. Hajnal Copyright 2007

    The Group of Eight has become a central actor in global governance with a steadily expanding role and agenda. The leaders' summits remain at the apex of the G8 system, but the leaders' work is complemented by intensifying and expanding networks of ministerial fora as well as various task forces and expert groups. Some of these entities, initially launched by the leaders, have taken on a life of their own with an agenda that diverges from the main concerns of the summits. Following on from Hajnal's acclaimed book The G7/G8 System, this volume discusses the origins, characteristics, evolution, role and agenda of the G7 and G8 system, including a systematic survey of its components. It introduces the major debates about the G7 and G8, looks at proposals to reform the G8-G20 and provides a detailed study of the complex, elusive and changing patterns of documentation of the broader G8-G20 system, including electronic information.

    Chapter 1 Introduction; Chapter 2 Origins of the G7 Summit 1 I am especially grateful to Sir Nicholas Bayne for his insightful comments and suggestions, and for valuable background information.; Chapter 3 The Summit Meetings; Chapter 4 The Players: Members, Potential Members, and Unofficial Associates; Chapter 5 The G7 and G8 Summit Agenda; Chapter 6 The G7 and G8 System; Chapter 7 G7 and G8 Relations with International Organizations; Chapter 8 G7 and G8 Relations with the Business Sector; Chapter 9; see also b).; Chapter 10 Evaluating the Summits; Chapter 11 The G20 and its Documentation 1 Not to be confused with the trade ministers’ G20 – unrelated to the G8 system – which was established on 20 August 2003, prior to the Cancún WTO ministerial conference, as a coalition of developing countries to address trade issues at the WTO from the perspective of the developing South and to counter agricultural trade distortions. Its membership (it now has 21 members) varies but it is led by Brazil, India and China. For more information on the ‘Trade G20’ see < www.g-20.mre.gov.br >.; Chapter 12 Reform of the G7, G8 and G20; Chapter 13 Documentation of the Summits; Chapter 14 Documentation of Ministerial Fora, Task Forces, Working Groups and Expert Groups; Chapter 15 Other Sources of Information about the G7 and G8 System and the G20; Chapter 16 Conclusion;


    Peter I. Hajnal is a Research Associate in Arts at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Trinity College University of Toronto, Canada

    ACUNS (The Academic Council on the United Nations Systems) Book of the Month, September 2007 '...provides the reader with a thoughtful and comprehensively documented examination of the G8 system and associated G20 finance ministers’ grouping. Hajnal’s work is scholarship of the best kind - informed, perceptive and carefully judged. This accessible and well-researched study will be of great value to all interested in these key mechanisms of global governance.' Timothy J. Sinclair, University of Warwick, UK '...presents a rich account of the history and peculiarities of the G7/G8 framework and proposals for its future reform. In addition, Hajnal provides an essential map to the documentation of the global governance system - for which he has been a principle archivist - thus making this book an essential resource for global policy scholars and practitioners alike.' Joseph P. Daniels, Marquette University, USA 'Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections.' Choice 'The unique character and the growing importance of the G7/G8 system are thoroughly explored in this book...The book updates and enriches the subjects covered in Hajnal's earlier volume, The G7/G8 System of 1999...The book also provides an extremely useful and detailed study of the complex and elusive G8 documentation, going beyond official documents and evaluating other important sources of information, such as internet resources, which are eessential for a better understanding of the processes and complexities of the G8 system.' The International Spectator