The world’s largest economies are interdependent – as readers with the 2008 financial crisis still fresh in mind are sure to recall – so how can countries resolve the cooperation and coordination problems stemming from this condition?

In a recent report, Preventing Crises and Promoting Economic Growth: A Framework for International Policy Cooperation, co-authored by Chatham House and CIGI, Paola Subacchi and Paul Jenkins utilize a game-theoretic framework for the study of these strategic situations and propose eight policy recommendations for strengthening G20 cooperation.

Given the externalities that dominate international economics, countries have both domestic and international interests in coordinating and cooperating on policy. But the shadow of the future for politicians is often a short one: domestic politics can trump international obligations; and zero-sum mentalities can dominate policy-making.

Despite these difficult political realities, the G20 has the potential to “become the forum that drives a framework for cooperation that is sustainable, flexible and allows countries to reap the benefits of international economic policy cooperation.” Learning from historical cases of international coordination efforts, Subacchi and Jenkins outline recommendations to help the G20 maneuver in a difficult international political economy:

Recommendations for the G20 

  1. Support and develop the G20 Mutual Assessment Process and the study of interdependencies.
  2. Publish ex ante international impact assessments for domestic policy
  3. Set the tone for cooperation from the top
  4. Reinforce a single statement of purpose for the G20
  5. Maintain strategic momentum and accountability for commitments
  6. Publish national roadmaps for delivering international commitments
  7. Increase the transparency of the rotation of the G20 presidency
  8. Develop regular “Summit Reports” on G20 work to highlight progress against commitments and improve transparency and accountability

Read the full report here>>.


John Zelenbaba is a Research Assistant at The Centre for International Governance Innovation. He is a fourth-year undergraduate student in Political Science and Economics at the University of Waterloo. 

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