Chapter 7: Asia Shaping the Group of 20 or the Group of 20 Shaping Asia?
Hugo Dobson 1. INTRODUCTION Although in existence since 1999 at the finance ministerial level, the upgrading of the Group of 20 (G20) to the leaders’ level in November 2008 captured popular, media and academic attention. More recently, however, the abatement of the initial excitement surrounding the G20’s emergence as the self-appointed ‘premier forum for international economic cooperation’ (as announced at the 2009 Pittsburgh Summit) and its reversion in 2011 to an annual, rather than semi-annual, event means that now is an opportune time to take stock of its impact, role, development and effectiveness, in addition to the division of labour amongst the ‘Gaggle of Gs’ and ‘messy multilateralism’ that now constitutes the architecture of global governance. So far, six G20 summits at the leaders’ level have taken place: Washington (November 2008), London (April 2009), Pittsburgh (September 2009), Toronto (June 2010), Seoul (November 2010) and Cannes (November 2011). While finance ministers continue to meet regularly throughout the year, the next G20 leaders’ summit at the time of writing was scheduled for June 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico. Within the ever-expanding literature on the G20, one focus of attention has been the new participants in G-summitry that are seen to provide the long sought-after legitimacy that the Group of 7/8 (G7/8) struggled with.1 In particular, Asia’s expanded membership has attracted attention; alongside Japan, as an original member of the G7/ G8, the new additions are Australia, China, Indonesia, India and South Korea, giving rise to another alphanumeric configuration of the Asian Six...
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