Think-20 Highlights G-20’s Informal Multilateralism

Think-20 Highlights G-20’s Informal Multilateralism

It is a truism of today’s networked world that a variety of nongovernmental stakeholders serve as important adjuncts to official diplomacy. In the G-20, for instance, this has given rise to parallel consultations with an L-20 of labor leaders, a Y-20 of youth leaders and a B-20 of business leaders.

Most recently, advisers currently helping Mexican President Felipe Calderón prepare to host the next G-20 summit in June sought additional counsel from experts from think tanks around the world, inviting us to the first-ever “Think-20” last week. Converging at the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores in Mexico City, participants from 15 countries discussed many of the topics on the G-20 docket, as well as the overall challenges of effectiveness and credibility facing the multilateral forum.

After nine years as a creature of finance ministers, the G-20 held its first summit of world leaders at the height of the financial crisis in November 2008. Its initial period as a summit forum was auspicious, with the leaders of the world’s major economies working in concert to ward of a global great depression. After the sense of emergency faded, though, so did the sense of solidarity. In contrast to their impressive united front on behalf of economic recovery in 2008 and 2009, dissension within the group at subsequent meetings has left the recovery in an extremely brittle condition. The source of the split was the debate between those who advocated for policies promoting recovery and growth and those arguing for austerity and deficit reduction. The issue came to a head at the June 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto, where U.S. President Barack Obama warned his colleagues against a hasty exit from fiscal stimulus but was rebuffed by deficit-hawk counterparts.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.