This work offers a concise examination of the purpose, function and practice of the Group of Twenty (G20) summit. Providing a comprehensive historical account of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors process, the text then moves on to outline the conditions, events and debates that led to the formation of the permanent, expanded leaders’ level forum. The historical span of the G20 Summit process is not long, but the global transformations that precipitated it are crucial when seeking to understand it.
Cooper & Thakur explore a variety of major debates, including:
- Governance by self-selected groups versus mandated multilateral organizations
- the legitimacy of informal leadership
- the issue of the G20’s composition of both ‘solution’ countries and ‘problem’ countries
- the role of the emerging powers
- new conceptions of North-South relationships
This work offers a detailed examination of the ongoing shifts in economic power and the momentum toward global institutional reform, illustrating how the G20 has moved from a crisis committee to the premier global forum over this short but intense history, and mapping out its comparative advantages and key challenges ahead.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Rebalancing world order 2. G20 Finance as prelude 3. G20 competitors as reform options 4. Financial crisis as catalyst: From Washington to Pittsburgh 5. Consolidating or fragmenting the G20 6. The G20 between the dynamics of innovation and constraint 7. The G20 as the answer to the crisis of global governance
Andrew F. Cooper is Professor, Department of Political Science, and Director of the Centre for Studies on Rapid Global Change, University of Waterloo. Holding a DPhil from the University of Oxford, he was a Fulbright Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California in 2009.
Ramesh Thakur is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, and adjunct professor in the Institute of Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University.