Edited by Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips
Chapter 5: Flexible 'G groups' and network governance in an era of uncertainty and experimentation
In 1998 a small group of advanced countries - the Group of Seven (G7) - determined the resolution and response to a financial crisis emanating from emerging economies (the so-called Asian financial crisis). Ten years later, in an almost exact reversal of that earlier pattern, a mixed group of advanced and emerging economies - the Group of Twenty (G20) - presided over the response to a financial crisis that began in the world's core North Atlantic financial centres. This apparent positional swap was a potent symbol of the way the governance of the international political economy had progressively changed during the first decade of the twenty-first century. The rise of the G20 and its displacement of the G7 (later G8) as the pre-eminent global economic governance forum provides a vivid illustration of how the status, standing and preponderance of advanced core countries has been challenged by a number of rising powers. At the Pittsburgh G20 leaders' summit of September 2009, a formal announcement was made that the G20 had moved from being a low-key network of finance ministry and central bank officials to a headline-grabbing leaders-level network: 'the world's premier forum for global economic cooperation' (G20 2009). The term 'G groups' refers to a regular rhythm of meetings amongst groups of countries either at leaders' level (summits) or through a series of interactions between finance ministry and central bank personnel.
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