A small country view on the G20
The world needs effective global economic governance, which will likely require a limited group of countries. So although the G20 is not fully inclusive it does at least offer the prospect of more effective global economic governance. As many have noted, if the G20 didn’t already exist something like it would need to be created.
The fundamental problem is that trading off inclusiveness for effectiveness only works if the G20 is in fact effective. But small countries can reasonably point to concerns about both the effectiveness and the legitimacy of the G20’s operations. The G20 is struggling to deliver impact after the immediate crisis response, its expanding membership and agenda makes its position relative to existing organisations unclear, and the G20’s policy behaviour collectively and among member countries is not always consistent with a global leadership role.
The deep exposure of small countries to the global economy means that these issues affect their vital national interests. This essay describes some possible responses that would go some way to addressing these small country concerns about the effectiveness and legitimacy of the G20.