CIGI G20 Papers

About the series

Emanating from CIGI’s G20 work program, the “CIGI G20 Papers” seek to examine and understand options for the G20 on major transnational and institutional issues, such as the response to the economic crisis, financial regulation, and the G20’s place in the processes and “architecture” of international economic governance. The first four papers to be published were originally presented at CIGI’s conference on International Governance Innovation: Issues for the 2010 Summits (May 3-5, 2010). They address questions relating to the new Financial Stability Board; the process of summitry and the G20’s effectiveness and legitimacy; the G20 and the post-crisis economic order (and by extension, the G8); and the macroeconomic stabilization framework for sustained global growth and prosperity.

In the Series

The failure of many observers to recognize the varied scale of the G20’s efforts — from macroeconomic rebalancing to ratification of the main anticorruption treaty — has made it harder for the G20 to gain credit for the valuable role it can play.
In the sixth installment in CIGI’s G20 Paper series, Gordon Smith discusses the evolution of the Group of Seven (G7) to the formation of the Group of Twenty (G20) finance ministers in late 1990s, and the G20 leaders’ summit forum at the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Gordon Smith discusses the evolution of the summitry from the G7 in the 1970s, to the first G20 leader's summit in 2008.
Despite the success of the G20 in helping prevent the 2008 global financial crisis from becoming an economic depression, the group can do more in the area of effective global governance, particularly on economic and security issues, says CIGI Distinguished Fellow Paul Heinbecker in the fifth instalment in CIGI’s G20 Paper series.
Gregory Chin, acting director of CIGI’s Development Program, says Asia offers unique experiences and resources to lead a globally coordinated effort of “benefit sharing” that can help address global imbalances. He urges the G20 to contribute to this goal through policy actions.
The G20 agenda for financial regulatory reform is both depressingly familiar and surprisingly new, says CIGI expert in international political economy Eric Helleiner. He argues that that while a breakthrough on regulation is unlikely at this week’s Seoul Summit, the stage is set for emerging markets to make their impact on regulatory policy.
Adding development to the G20’s agenda marks a new stage in the evolution of the “premier forum” for managing the world economy, says CIGI senior fellow Gregory Chin. The proposed action plan integrates elements of the traditional Western development model with the ideas of new donors such as China and draws on the experience of Korea, the Seoul summit host.
The G20 has taken various measures to reduce systemic financial risk, including an expansion of domestic and international financial safety nets, while taking into account the moral hazard problem. Wider measures may be necessary to avert future crises, says CIGI visiting senior fellow and economist Manmohan Agarwal.
The G20 leaders will grapple in Seoul with how to deflect the risk of another downturn in the global economy. CIGI expert Daniel Schwanen suggests there is much that G20 leaders can do because national interests often coincide with the collective global interest.
Many observers believe that the International Monetary Fund faces a crisis in legitimacy and governance. On the eve of the G20 summit in Seoul on Nov. 11-12, CIGI’s executive director Thomas A. Bernes explains how the G20 leaders should act to bring about meaningful reform in the organization.
Having lost the “fellowship of the lifeboat” prevailing during the acute phase of the global financial crisis, the G20 countries are increasingly at odds on some issues and in search of legitimacy for their new institution. Differences exist in their diagnoses of the global recession, in their prescriptions for recovery and, in particular, on exchange rate policies, observes CIGI senior fellow Barry Carin. He suggests ways the G20 can become more inclusive of the needs of nations within and outside its membership.