Wednesday, July 09, 2008
G8 Plus G5 Equals What?
In many ways, this meeting was effectively a G13--the traditional G7 "Western economies and Japan" plus Russia to make up the G8, and then the G5 of Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India and China. But for those partisans of expansion, this meeting showed that simply having all 13 states at the same table does not automatically produce sweetness and light and a new consensus. If the G8 deadlocks, expanding it to the G13 doesn't promise to reverse this trend.
Next year, in Italy, we'll see how this expanded format plays--but I think that any hopes of returning the G- process to the way it was in the 1970s--a mechanism for effective coordination--is over. The G- process is now the world's leading photo-op.