Commentary on G8 Agenda and Variable Geometry

In the week prior to the G8 L’Aquila summit, contributors to this blog participated in a set of academic conferences that mapped out the challenges the body faces, functionally and structurally. Two new web commentaries on the discussion of these conferences are available on the CIGI website – below are some short abstracts:

G8 Italy: Wrestling Control Back from the G20?
Gregory Chin
CIGI Web Commentary, 3 July 2009

The Italian G8 Presidency looks like it will get a passing grade for the upcoming G8 L’Aquila Summit, for its ability to use the buzzwords of global governance. The Italian G8 Office has outlined its goal for the upcoming Summit: to devise a system of global governance that is “open, innovative, fair and sustainable,” that is “open” for trade and investment flows; “innovative” in using new and existing ideas; “fair” in being inclusive and giving attention to emerging and vulnerable countries; and “sustainable” in responding to climate change and promoting environmental protection. The host government has an ambitious list of results it wants to achieve this year, summed up in the following key words: “rules,” “vulnerability,” “effectiveness,” “accountability” and “inclusiveness.”

Is the G8’s Variable Geometry Sustainable?
Ruth Davis and Andrew Schrumm
CIGI Web Commentary, 7 July 2009

The days of the traditional G8 Summit are numbered. No longer can these eight powers convene effectively without the strong participation of the major economies of the global South. Pressured by a massive shift in global economic power, and matched by growing fatigue in the G8, a proliferation of different formats – from G8+5 to MEM-16 to G20 – have stretched legitimacy across the process. But as these formats have demonstrated, assigning labels for summitry artificially creates problems of inclusivity. The stage is now set for the next “G” episode, to be played out this week at the G8 L’Aquila Summit in Italy.

Disclaimer: This blog is solely intended to spur discussion, while the opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI, Chatham House or their respective Boards of Directors.


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