No Governance, No Party

July 20, 2009


Paola Subacchi

Research Director, International Economics, Chatham House

Despite the worst expectations in the weeks before the summit, the G8 gathering in L’Aquila handed over neither a significant outcome nor an embarrassing disaster. Participants seemed pleased with the Italians who were praised for their excellent job in managing the whole choreography and delivering a great party. The Italian organisers must felt relieved, especially as some commentators seemed prepared to support Italy’s expulsion from the G8 on the ground of poor organisational skills and its Prime Minister’s penchant for scandals.

The idea that Italy was risking the expulsion hit the main headlines in the first day of the summit, with no further follow-up. But it is disconcerting and interesting at the same time. It is disconcerting because of the implicit assumption that the G8 membership could be decided on the basis of how efficient a country is in organising a meeting and how effective, and credible, the leadership of the hosting leader is. But the organising country does not equate the entire G8 even if it plays an important role in shaping the summit, and determining its relevance.

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Political Capital for the IFIs

July 7, 2009

Discounted by many observers only a year ago, the International Financial Instiutions (IFIs) have been bolstered by support of the G20 process. The IMF and World Bank recieved considerable political capital and resources particularly coming out of the London Summit in April 2009. 

In this video, Andrew F. Cooper interviews Dr. Domenico Lombardi, president of OXONIA (Oxford Institute for Economic Policy) and a non-resident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, on the state of the global financial system. 

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Keeping up the G20’s Momentum

July 6, 2009

Paola Subacchi
Research Director, International Economics, Chatham House

Unlike the London Summit of the G20 leaders at the beginning of April the G8 summit to be held this week in L’Aquila Italy has so far attracted little attention. Certainly a less dramatic – although still not positive – economic outlook has curbed the sense of urgency that dominated weeks before the G20 meeting. There is also the widespread sentiment that the G8 has been demoted and the G20 is now the forum at which to discuss global issues. This backdrop, together with the fact that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is entangled in personal issues, make many commentators see the L’Aquila Summit as a non-event.

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