G8 and G20

The G20 grew out of the G8 in an attempt to provide an expanded forum for both the richest and the emerging market countries to join “the core of global economic discussion and governance.” Yet there is skepticism that the G8 remains relevant in the post-financial crisis world. The G20 has eclipsed the G8 as the primary forum for financial diplomacy. 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 2010 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. 

CIC has argued that neither of these arguments is convincing in this paper, and that the G20 which lost some momentum after the 2008 financial crisis has still engineered progress on IMF reform, monitoring global imbalances and financial regulation.   The most pressing issue is not, in fact, whether to maintain or discontinue the G8, but instead to indentify ways to draw non-Western powers into security cooperation. 

Vertical Tabs

Europe, Brazil, India

Related Publications

  • In late 2011, the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, the Center for American Progress, and the Stanley Foundation formed a study group of US and Chinese experts, including CIC Director Bruce Jones, to evaluate the role of the G-20 in the US-China bilateral relationship as well as how the relationship influences the G-20. After meeting for two conferences over the course of 2012, the group reached consensus on a set of recommendations to improve the efficacy of this important body.

    Mar 11, 2013
    Bruce Jones
    China, United States
  • Globally 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by violent conflict. International aid to fragile and conflict-affected states accounts for 30 percent of global official development assistance (ODA) flows. However, no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal (MDG). For the first time, a group of these countries have joined together to discuss their shared development challenges and advocate for better international policies to address their needs.

    Mar 01, 2012
  • In the past several years, key governments and multilateral institutions have devoted considerable effort to the task of more effectively integrating development and security policy responses to the related challenges of countries affected by conflict, post-conflict peacebuilding, and conflict prevention. The looming deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, has focused attention on this important nexus and the near impossibility of crisis- and conflict-affected states achieving these goals unless development and security is more effectively integrated.