The G20 Summit of November 2008 outlined many detailed commitments relating to the regulation of international financial markets. This web exclusive policy brief suggests that these commitments did not in fact go much beyond pre-existing international initiatives that had recently been developed in more technocratic international bodies. In the evolution of international financial regulation, the Summit is likely to be remembered more for a governance reform: the widening of the membership of these same technocratic bodies to include more emerging market countries. If this outreach turns out to more symbolic than real, however, centrifugal forces in international financial politics may be strengthened.

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