The G8 and the Threat of Bloc Politics in the International System | A Managing Global Summitry Report

On May 26 and 27 2011, France hosted the annual G8 Summit.  Although the French have prepared a wide-ranging agenda – covering everything from internet security to the Arab Spring – there is skepticism that the G8 remains relevant in the post-financial crisis world.  The G20 has eclipsed it as the primary forum for financial diplomacy, while talks between G8 foreign ministers on Libya this March delivered little. 

There are, however, two recurrent arguments for maintaining the G8:

  • It acts as an insurance policy for its members against the failure of the G20, a risk highlighted by ill-tempered exchanges over currency issues at the last year’s G20 summit in Seoul. 
  • It is a useful political club for liberal Western democracies (plus or minus Russia), whereas the G20 contains a less ideologically coherent group of major powers. 

Read the full meeting report here.

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May 01, 2011
Richard Gowan, Emily O'Brien, Bruce Jones
G8 and G20