Chapter 8: From G8 to G20: A Shift of the Dynamics of Global Economic Governance?
Hong Yousheng and Fang Qing 1. INTRODUCTION If the Group of 7/8(G7/G8) has been a major mechanism of the global economic governance (GEG) since it was formed in 1975 by the Western advanced countries, then the Group of 20(G20), with membership of both them and the emerging economies, has now become the premier forum of global economic co-operation rather than merely a temporary arrangement as it was first conceived in the aftermath of the 2008/09 global financial crisis. This evolution from G7/8 to G20 has brought about important shifts in GEG dynamics, not just to accommodate the rising influence of emerging powers like China but also geographically, from the Atlantic region to the Asia-Pacific (Elek 2010). What both the incumbent G7/8 members and new members of the G20 configuration have in mind for the evolving purpose and influence of this new global governance structure is of great importance. For example, will the United States continue its support of the G20 as ‘a new and less hierarchical approach to global governance’, or alternatively return to G8 for maintaining ‘its hegemonic leadership role’ (Alexandroff 2010: 45)? On the other hand, are the emerging economy members willing and able to co-ordinate their own standpoints in the G20 arena? The new Asia-Pacific G20 members of Indonesia, South Korea and Australia may play a key role here, as is discussed in this chapter. 2. THE UNITED STATES, EUROPE AND THE G20 The most salient characteristic of G20 is the emerging economies’ participation in...
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