G20 Research Group

G20 Summits |  G20 Ministerials |  G20 Analysis |  Search |  About the G20 Research Group
[English]  [Français]  [Deutsch]  [Italiano]  [Portuguesa]  [Japanese]  [Chinese]  [Korean]  [Indonesian]

University of Toronto

G20 Information Centre
provided by the G20 Research Group

Liberal Order and the G20:
Present and Future

John Kirton, Co-director, G20 Research Group
December 21, 2017

Paper prepared for presentation at a "G20 Experts' Seminar," Sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seoul, Korea, December 5, 2017.

Executive Summary

The Group of Twenty (G20) was created first at the ministerial level and later upgraded to the summit level as a response to the global financial crises that first erupted from Asia in 1997, and then from the United States in 2008 and Europe in 2010. These crises called into question the core principles and practices of the liberal order based on economic, social and political openness that had been internationally institutionalized since 1944. The G20 was thus designed with a dual distinctive foundational mission to promote financial stability and to make globalization work for all. It combined all established and emerging economies with high capability and connectivity, operating as equals, to protect all within their borders and those beyond. It increasingly did so since its first summit in 2008. Performance spiked at the summit in Hamburg in July 2017, which coped with the new populist, protectionist U.S. president and UK prime minister, whose countries had hosted the first three summits. Initiatives and agreements for full free trade have advanced since the first summit in 2008. No other centre of global summit governance has emerged to guide an increasingly globalized world. The G20 has also steadily become an effective governor of global security. The forces that propelled this rise will intensify. The Argentinian-hosted summit in late 2018 promises to proceed along this path, guided by a country now dedicated to following the core liberal order and making it work better for all. The real test arrives in 2019, when Japan as host must cooperate with Korea and China, its neighbouring Asian powers and previous G20 hosts, to provide a new centre of progressive, liberal global governance that the world badly needs.

[back to top]

The G20's Faster, Fuller, Liberal Future

The future of the Group of Twenty (G20) has long been a subject of great debate (Kirton 2013). The debate has intensified with the recent arrival of new geopolitical tensions and the populist, protectionist pressures led by U.S. president Donald Trump and Brexit-bound British prime minister Theresa May. Views range widely, from the many who see the G20 summit destined to decline or disappear following the great global financial crisis of 2008 that catalyzed its birth, to the few who expect it to rise and expand.

The evidence has long supported the latter (Kirton 2014, 2015, 2017b). After the first 12 summits, the launch of the preparatory process for the 13th in Argentina in 2018, and the approach of the 14th in Asia in 2019, it is an appropriate time to take a fresh look at the future of G20 summit governance, amidst the many current challenges and those coming soon. Those challenges include the apparent absence of a unifying financial crisis, growing inequality, populism and protectionism across a retreating Atlantic world, rising Asian rivals, and the existential threats of nuclear proliferation and climate change.

Despite the challenges, complexities and uncertainties, the G20 will have a faster, fuller, liberal future. It conquered past physical crises and the political crises of confidence in the liberal order that came along with them. It did so by using its distinctive design, as a body devoted to making globalization work for all with a membership of established and emerging, intensely interconnected and equally vulnerable countries, any of which can suddenly need help from all. G20 summit performance rose from its 2008 start and surged at Hamburg in July 2017, where it largely survived the Trump stress test. The G20 has fostered new free trade agreements and became an effective global security governor. No rivals have appeared. The forces that propelled G20 performance will proliferate in the coming years. There are promising liberal plans for Argentina's Buenos Aires Summit in 2018 and considerable potential for Asia's in 2019.

[back to top]

Controlling Globalized Crises since 1971

Global financial and other crises have proliferated since August 15, 1971, when a once hegemonic United States, soon to be militarily vanquished in Vietnam, unilaterally assaulted the liberal, open, rules-based, multilateral monetary and trade order it had pioneered since 1944. The so-called Nixon shock and the subsequent bankruptcy of New York City catalyzed the creation of the Group of Seven (G7) summit of major democratic powers in 1975. The new, non-state–created, non-targeted, genuinely global financial crisis arising from Asia in 1997 spurred the finance ministers of Canada and the United States, both of which were still haunted by the vivid memories of the Mexican peso crisis in December 1994, to establish the G20 for the finance ministers and central bank governors of systemically significant states in 1999. Moreover, the deadly terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, made the G20 an effective security governor. It bonded the new Bush administration to the group, and later saw President George W. Bush elevate it to a summit to address the much larger American-turned-global financial crisis that erupted in September 2008. The G20's influence on crisis mitigation is further exemplified by the G20's Canadian- and Korean-hosted summits in 2010, the French-hosted summit in 2011 and the Mexican-hosted summit in 2012, which prevented the new European crisis from going global. This striking G20 summit success has endured to this day.

[back to top]

Conquering Crises of Confidence in the Liberal Order since 1971

These physical crises each brought a political crisis of confidence in the 1944 liberal multilateral order based on open economies, societies and polities, backed by the principles of democracy, human rights and an "embedded liberalism" that nationally protected citizens at the core (Ruggie 1993). After each crisis, the G7, and its G20 successor, responded just enough and just in time to let this evolving liberal order survive and thrive, as the democratic revolution went global after 1989.

These crises of confidence first flourished amidst the stagflation of the 1970s and the deep global recession of 1980–1985, with which an often divided democratic world had to cope. The rising free market fundamentalism of the so-called Washington Consensus, while never dominant, was challenged, along with its International Monetary Fund (IMF) adherents, when the 1997 crises devastated the emerging Asian economies of Thailand, Indonesia and Korea, followed by Brazil and Russia the next year. In 1999 the Group of Eight summit responded with the "Cologne Consensus" on socially sustainable globalization. Its principles were embedded as the two distinctive core missions of the "finance G20" created that year. The much bigger 2008 crisis bred calls for a "new Bretton Woods," but in practice brought a focus on restoring financial stability through a new macro-prudential approach and macroeconomic growth through orthodox Keynesian tools (Drezner 2015).

[back to top]

Designing a Distinctive Mission, Membership and Reversing Roles

Once the G20's first foundational mission of promoting global financial stability was met, it turned to its second of making globalization work for the benefit of all. Both united the G20's established and emerging economies, each made systemically significant by their combined capability and connectivity and, thus vulnerability. The crises from the United States in 2008 and Europe in 2010 brought a great role reversal, when the major providers of financial security in 1994 and 1997 became the leading consumers of financial security, needing a bailout from those that had been on the other side of the crises before. Among G20 members, China, Japan, India, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa had no home-grown financial crisis in either phase, but still suffered from the contagion caught from others. Those countries could catalyze the crises that could come in the years ahead.[1]

[back to top]

Rising Performance through to Hamburg's Surge, 2008–2017

After this great role reversal, G20 summit performance steadily rose, across all key dimensions by which international institutions' performance can be judged (see Appendix A). On the first dimension, domestic political management, the leaders' attendance declined from 100% at the first three summits to 90%, where it stabilized for the next seven, and then rose to 95% at Hangzhou in 2016 and Hamburg in 2017. In its public deliberation, the G20's communiqués steadily expanded from 3,567 words in 2008 to 28,766 in 2013, then plunged to 5,983 in 2015, but soared to a new high of 34,746 at Hamburg in 2017. In its principled direction setting, the number of G20 affirmations of financial stability was overtaken by those of inclusive globalization for all since 2013, while those of democracy were strong and those of individual liberty and human rights rose in the last two years (see Appendices B-1 and B-2). In its decision making, the G20's precise, future-oriented, politically binding commitments expanded rather steadily, from 95 in 2008 to 529 in 2017. In the delivery of these decisions, through members' compliance with their priority commitments from one summit before the next one, average compliance was always at least 59%; it reached a new high of 80% in 2017.

In the institutionalized development of global governance inside the G20, the number of its ministerial forms expanded since 2010, from only finance ministers and central bank governors to a total of six by 2017, adding labour, agriculture, foreign affairs and, for the first time, digitalization and health, with ministerial meetings for tourism, development, trade and energy taking place in previous years (see Appendix C-1). In official-level working or study groups, the four created in 2008 expanded to 13 in 2018, with new ones for infrastructure, education and women business leaders (see Appendix C-2). Civil society engagement groups arose formally in 2010 and expanded to seven by 2017, with informal ones also emerging along the way (see Appendix C-3).

The 2017 Hamburg Summit hit new highs in performance despite the arrival of a populist, protectionist Donald Trump, who had just announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change (Kirton 2017c). Yet his G20 partners, led by host German chancellor Angela Merkel, found a way to work with him to advance cooperation on the key issues of terrorism, North Korea, women's economic empowerment, the marine environment and much else. They also found a way for the 19 to collectively act to control climate change, until the executive branch of the U.S. government would rejoin the campaign. The Hamburg Summit's overall, highly liberal message was that the economy should serve society, not the other way around (Snower 2017).

[back to top]

Fostering New Free Trade Agreements

Trade liberalization is also surviving the Trump stress test and is flourishing despite the headwinds from him and a "Brexiting" Britain. The European Union entered the North American market with its now ratified Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It is also strengthening one with Mexico, Canada's partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canada completed a free trade deal with Ukraine and is exploring or negotiating others with China, India, Japan and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), among others. China is building the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is moving ahead as the TPP 11 after Trump pulled the United States out, with Canada in Vietnam making it a more liberal "comprehensive, progressive" TPP in November 2017. Trump is only stopping trade liberalization for his own United States and the firms that stay there. Although he prefers bilateral to multilateral deals, he has found no one willing to deal with him. The G20 is managing U.S. and others' concerns about the steel trade, U.S. threats to end its Korean free trade agreement are receding, and the U.S. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has largely escaped Trump's complaints. There are thus good grounds to expect the G20 to become a stronger centre of global trade liberalization governance, in a way that the World Trade Organization (WTO) cannot without the G20's help, as the G20's Brisbane Summit showed in 2014 in concluding the trade facilitation agreement.

[back to top]

Strengthening Global Security Governance

Although trade was a key part of the G20 summit agenda at its 2008 start, security was not, especially in the specialized form of terrorist finance that the finance G20 had pioneered in 2001. Yet since 2008, the G20 summit followed the advice of those, led by Dong-hwi Lee (2010), who urged it to address broader security threats. It steadily became an effective global security governor over an expanded terrain, from the non-state threats of terrorist finance, through money laundering, tax evasion, crime, corruption and terrorism as a whole, to the high, hard, state-initiated security threats of the proliferation, and use of weapons of mass destruction in their chemical and nuclear forms (Kirton 2017a). It delivered a singular success at its 2013 St. Petersburg Summit by helping stop Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from routinely using chemical weapons, at least until U.S. president Barack Obama was replaced by Donald Trump after the presidential election of November 2016. At the opening, leaders-only session at Hamburg in 2017, Trump and his colleagues discussed North Korea's nuclear weapons proliferation and appeared to come to a consensus that led to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to sanction North Korea, with UNSC Permanent Five members China and Russia in support.

More broadly, meetings on the margins of G20 summits have had useful security effects. These ranged from the message on Iran's nuclear program from Pittsburgh in 2009 to the discussions about and with Russian president Vladimir Putin over his aggression in Ukraine in the preparations for and at Brisbane in 2014. Moreover, the G20 foreign ministers' meeting expanded in several ways, from its fragile beginning in Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2012, to its long-planned gathering on the road to Hamburg in 2017.

Terrorism, as the G20's first security subject, will not go away nor will it be stopped by Trump's unilateral, border-closing approach in the United States, as the deadly attacks in New York City showed in November and December 2017. The terrorist threat is well known to future G20 hosts, as it has already touched Argentina, Japan in the 1995 sarin gas attacks and, above all, Saudi Arabia. Nuclear proliferation from North Korea and Iran will also preoccupy the latter two future hosts.

[back to top]

Missing Global Governance Rivals

The enduring resilience of the G20 summit is shown by the fact that after almost a decade, no other global summit has arisen to rival or replace it, even after it shrunk after 2010 from holding two to only one summit a year. The BRICS summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and (later) South Africa, beginning in 2009, largely worked in supportive partnership with the G20 one, especially by holding the BRICS second summit each year at the same time and place as the G20 one. It has not expanded its small membership, beyond adding South Africa in 2010. The older G7 also worked together with the G20 in a synergistic partnership, including at the Canadian-hosted twin G8 and G20 summits in Muskoka and nearby Toronto on the same weekend in June 2010 (Kirton 2017b). The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit, the ASEAN summit and the East Asia Summit continue at a steady pace. Chinese-pioneered Silk Road summitry has just started and remains a very specialized infrastructure-oriented event. Recently created specialized multilateral development banks such as the BRICS New Development Bank and the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank follow the path forged earlier by bodies such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Islamic Development Bank. To be sure, UN summitry has intensified. Yet it remains a subject-specific, siloed as hoc addition, even with the more comprehensive Sustainable Development Goals arriving in 2015.

[back to top]

Proliferating Propellers of Performance

The forces that propelled the G20's rising performance in the past will grow in the coming years. The shocks that activate the shared vulnerability of all G20 members and others will intensify to approach critical thresholds, led by the globally existential threats of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and climate change, and followed by terrorism, territorial disputes, energy, ecology, health, migration and financial threats.

The continuing failure of the core multilateral organizations from the 1940s confirms that there is no place to go other than the G20, if only because those organizations seldom meet at the leaders' level to address all key challenges comprehensively and coherently in an intensely interconnected world. Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Global Compact on Migration compound to the failure.[2] In trade the WTO has not completed an multilateral trade negotiation round in over two decades and its appellate body will soon be made moribund by a U.S. president who rejects multilateral trade liberalization and refuses to appoint U.S. judges to it. The IMF, with its unique U.S. veto, does better, but is unlikely to undertake the promised next round of voice and vote reform to give rising emerging powers their promised, proportionally enhanced place. The World Bank Group, its co-located and U.S.-headed twin, is more vulnerable to U.S. financial cutbacks for development.[3]

G20 members will continue to possess a strong predominance of collective global capability.[4] Members' internal equality will strengthen, as reviving growth in G7 members is outstripped by the levels of a slightly slowing China and India and reviving Argentina, with a currently beleaguered Brazil, Russia, South Africa and others likely to revive in the medium term.

Convergence on the common liberal principles of open economies, societies and polities provides a serious constraint, with the current closure in China, Russia and Turkey. Yet there is offsetting openness, backed by action against corruption, in Argentina, Brazil and elsewhere. Political cohesion is problematic in the G7 powers of the United States, United Kingdom, Italy and even Germany. Yet it should remain strong in Japan, France, Canada, China, India, Argentina and possibly Russia. The experience from Seoul in 2010, through St. Petersburg in 2013, to Hamburg in 2017 suggests that the G20 will continue to slowly become a cherished interpersonal club at the hub of a growing network of global summit governance with new spokes such as the Silk Road summit added all the time (see Appendix D).[5]

[back to top]

Promising Planning for Argentina's Summit, 2018

The prospect of an increasingly effective G20 expanding the liberal order is enhanced by the promising plans of Argentina to host a 2018 summit centred on producing liberal prosperity for all. In publicly introducing his approach to the summit, Argentine president Mauricio Macri called the G20 "the world's preeminent forum for … political co-operation" and stated that his goal is to have it "commit to fair and sustainable economic development that generates opportunities for everyone" (Argentina's G20 Presidency 2017). His foreign minister, Jorge Faurie added: "Argentina's intelligent integration with the international community is based on our nation's key values: democracy, freedom and human rights."

Argentina has offered a full-strength agenda rather than one narrowly focused on the alleged fundamentals, as was the case with the poorly performing Brisbane Summit in 2014 (see Appendix E-1). Argentina's nine priority subjects, identified well before its year as host began on December 1, 2017, were fewer than the 15 Germany had at the launch of its Hamburg year (see Appendix E-2). Yet these will probably expand as Argentina's year unfolds, with macroeconomics, financial regulation, reform of the international financial institutions (IFIs) and terrorism very likely added to the list once the first sherpa meeting takes place on December 14–16, 2017. The existing agenda represents a blend of continuity and creativity, with the latter featured as the first priority — the future of work in the digital age.

The presence of trade, energy and climate change on the 2018 agenda shows that Argentina will continue to promote economic openness, undeterred by the protectionist, populist, climate-skeptical Donald Trump. Indeed, as the current NAFTA negotiations among the United States, Canada and Mexico show, the digital age demands a new set of rules to reinforce open trade, along with stronger protections for workers, especially women. On climate change, the "19 without one" formula invented at Hamburg provides a precedent for the Buenos Aires Summit to use, even if the deadly hurricane assaults on the United States in the months after Hamburg or the U.S. congressional election results in November 2018 do not induce the U.S. president to change his mind. However, Argentina's decision to separate energy from climate change and to focus the latter on adaptation rather than mitigation or the Paris Agreement enhances the prospect of finding common ground with President Trump.

[back to top]

Prospects and Potential for Asia's Summit, 2019

The future of the G20 and the progressive liberal order it has pioneered depends more on events when the summit returns to Asia in 2019. More specifically, it depends on how host Japan works with neighbouring Korea and China, as experienced summit hosts, to make its year a progressive liberal success. All three countries are committed to trade liberalization, providing a basis for Northeast Asian regional unity. Most likewise trade-liberalizing G20 members, including Brexiting Britain, can build on this foundation. North Korea's nuclear proliferation and the campaign against corruption provide a further bond. They could make this summit another security success, which a newly vulnerable U.S. could easily support. Moreover, Chinese president Xi Jinping needs to extend his liberal approach to the economy more vigorously to China's own financial system and society. Japan shares similar incentives and has an aging population that propels them.

Korea in 2010 hosted a successful summit, highlighted by its agreement on IFI voice and vote reform and above all on the Seoul Development Consensus that addressed inequality, poverty and resulting populist pressure from those in the global South. China in 2016 continued its increasing G20 leadership, while confirming that it never leads alone or with a fixed set of partners (Kirton 2016). This suggests the possibility of co-leadership in 2019 from the Northeast Asian triumvirate, which collectively contain the second-, third- and 12th-ranked powers in the world (IMF 2017).

The biggest potential constraint on a Northeast Asian–led G20 summit success in 2019 is the continuation or intensification of regional maritime territorial disputes. Yet here, too, there may be grounds for hope. The BRICS summit in Xiamen in September 2017 brought China and India back from the brink of their escalating territorial dispute. Moreover, the new vulnerability of an accidental, unauthorized or unintentional North Korean nuclear launch could help the clear, current and continuing danger transcend the traditional rivalry based on the relative capability brought by territory descended from the Westphalian world of almost half a millennium ago. Tipping the balance could be a shared interest in securing the blue economy for the benefit of all in Northeast Asia and far beyond, against the compounding threat of climate change.

[back to top]


[1] Canada, seen as a bastion of financial stability in 2008, currently leads the world in the level of consumer debt per capita, with inflated asset prices in real estate reminiscent of the U.S. housing bubble in 2008.

[2] In contrast, the United States continues to invest in plurilateral arrangements, even in the environmental field, as in the November 2017 agreement among 10 countries including China and Japan to prevent fishing beneath the warming, opening Arctic ice, before the scientific sustainability of such an agreement can be assessed.

[3] These are particular challenges for Korea and France, as co-chairs of the G20's International Financial Assistance Working Group, which must address the 15th Quota Review, and replenishment of the International Development Association.

[4] The 2018 Argentinian host identified collective global capability on November 30, 2017, as 85% of global economic output, 80% of global investment, 75% of international trade and 66% of global population.

[5] One sign is Argentina's decision to invite seven guests to its summit, all democratic countries, with Jamaica representing the 20 all democratic and small state members of CARICOM.

[back to top]


Drezner, Daniel W. (2015). The System Worked: How the World Stopped Another Great Depression. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Argentina's G20 Presidency (2017). "Republic of Argentina G20 Presidency," Buenos Aires, December 1.

International Monetary Fund (2017). "World Economic Outlook Database." Washington DC, October.

Kirton, John (2013). G20 Governance for a Globalized World. Farnham: Ashgate.

Kirton, John (2014). "The G20 System Still Works: Better Than Ever," Caribbean Journal of International Relations & Diplomacy 2(3): 43–40.

Kirton, John (2015). "The Future of the Gs: What Is in Store?" in Mike Callaghan and Tristram Sainsbury, eds., G20 and the Future of International Economic Governance (Sydney: University of News South Wales Press), pp. 200–214.

Kirton, John (2016). "A Summit of Significant Success: G20 Performance at G20 Hangzhou 2016," G20 Research Group, University of Toronto, September 7.

Kirton, John (2017a). "The G20's Growing Security Governance Success," paper prepared for the conference on "The G20 as a Global Governance Institution," Federal Academy for Security Policy, February 9, Berlin.

Kirton, John (2017b). "Governing Together: The Gx System." Studia Diplomatica 68(3): 7–27.

Kirton, John (2017c). "A Summit of Significant Success: The G20 at Hamburg, July 7-8, 2017," G20 Research Group, July 11.

Lee, Dong-hwi (2010). "The Political-Security Context for the Seoul Summit," in John Kirton and Madeline Koch, eds., G20: The Seoul Summit: Shared Growth Beyond Crisis (London: Newsdesk Media), pp. 166–67.

Ruggie, John G. (1993). "Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations." International Organization 47(1): 139–74.

Snower, Dennis (2017). "The G20 Summit Was More Successful Than You Think," G20 Insights, July 11.

[back to top] [back to text]

Appendix A: G20 Summit Performance, 2008–2017

Grade Domestic political management Deliberation Direction setting Decision making Delivery Development of global governance
Internal External
Attendance #
% members compli-mented # days # documents #
Stability Inclusion Democracy Liberty #
Compliance # assessed # references Spread # references Spread
2008 Washington A− 100% 0 0% 2 2 3,567 16 2 10 2 95 75% 8 0 4 39 11
2009 London A 100% 1 5% 2 3 6,155 29 6 9 0 129 59% 6 12 4 120 27
2009 Pittsburgh A− 100% 0 0% 2 2 9,257 11 21 28 1 128 66% 16 47 4 115 26
2010 Toronto A− 90% 8 15% 2 5 11,078 47 32 11 1 61 70% 14 71 4 164 27
2010 Seoul B 95% 5 15% 2 5 15,776 66 36 18 4 153 67% 41 99 4 237 31
2011 Cannes B 95% 11 35% 2 3 14,107 42 8 22 0 282 75% 21 59 4 247 27
2012 Los Cabos A− 95% 6 15% 2 2 12,682 43 23 31 3 180 77% 19 65 4 138 20
2013 St. Petersburg A 90% 15 55% 2 11 28,766 73 108 15 3 281 69% 23 190 4 237 27
2014 Brisbane B 90% 10 40% 2 5 9,111 10 12 1 0 205 73% 24 39 4 42 12
2015 Antalya B 90% 0 0% 2 6 5,983 13 22 0 2 198 72% 19 42 4 54 11
2016 Hangzhou B+ 95% 7 25% 2 4 16,004 11 29 34 5 213 80% 19 179 4 223 19
2017 Hamburg B+ 95% 5   2 10 34,746 42 61 2 11 529 NA NA 84   234  
Total N/A N/A 68 N/A 24 58 167,232 403 360 181 32 2,454 N/A 210 887 44 1,850 238
Average N/A 95% 5.67 19% 2 4.83 13,936 33.58 30 15 3 205 71% 19 74 4 154 22


N/A = not applicable. Only documents issued at a summit in the leaders' name are included.Grade is based on a scoring scheme created by John Kirton, as follows: A+ Extremely Strong, A Very Strong, A-Strong, B+ Significant, B Substantial, B- Solid, C Small, D Very Small, F Failure (including made things worse). available at www.g20.utoronto.ca/analysis/scoring.html.

Domestic political management: participation by G20 members and at least one representative from the European Union and excludes invited countries; compliments are references to full members in summit documents.

Deliberation: duration of the summit and the documents collectively released in the leaders' name at the summit.

Direction setting: number of statements of fact, causation and rectitude relating directly to open democracy and individual liberty.

Decision making: number of commitments as identified by the G20 Research Group.

Delivery: scores are measured on a scale from −1 (no compliance) to +1 (full compliance, or fulfillment of goals set out in the commitment). Figures are cumulative scores based on compliance reports.

Development of global governance: internal are references to G20 institutions in summit documents; external are references to institutions outside the G20; engagement groups are references to engagement groups. Spread indicates the number of different institutions mentioned.

[back to top] [back to text]

Appendix B-1: G20 Summit Direction Setting, 2008–2016

Summit Financial Stability Globalization for the Benefit of All Total
2008 Washington 16 2 18
2009 London 29 6 35
2009 Pittsburgh 11 21 32
2010 Toronto 47 32 79
2010 Seoul 66 36 102
2011 Cannes 42 8 50
2012 Los Cabos 43 23 66
2013 St Petersburg 73 108 181
2014 Brisbane 10 12 22
2015 Antalya 13 22 35
2016 Hangzhou 11 29 40
Total 361 299 660

Notes: Coded by Courtney Hallink. The unit of analysis is the sentence.

Inclusions: Financial Stability: Financial Stability Board (FSB), Financial System Stability, Stabilize Impact of Crisis, Prevent Future Crisis, Risk, Resilience, Making Globalization Work For All: Global Partnership for Financial Inclusions (GPFI), Inclusive Growth, Poorest, Poor, Vulnerable, Most Vulnerable Groups, Economic Growth meets everyone's needs, inclusive world economy, all parts of the globe, gap between rich and poor.

Appendix B-2: G20 Summit Principles Affirmed

Individual Liberty
Financial Stability and Globalization
for the Benefit of All
2008 Washington 12 18 2:3
2009 London 9 35 9:35
2009 Pittsburgh 29 32 29:32
2010 Toronto 12 79 12:79
2010 Seoul 22 102 11:51
2011 Cannes 22 50 11:25
2012 Los Cabos 34 66 17:33
2013 St. Petersburg 18 181 18:181
2014 Brisbane 1 22 1:22
2015 Antalya 2 35 2:35
2016 Hangzhou 39 40 39:40
Overall Total 200 660 10:33

Coded by Courtney Hallink, January 7, 2017

[back to top] [back to text]

Appendix C-1: Ministerial Meetings

Finance 1999–2017 2018
Employment and Labour 2010-2017 2018 (with Education)
Tourism 2010-2013 -
Agriculture 2011, 2012, 2015-2017 2018
Development 2011 -
Trade 2012, 2014-2016 -
Foreign affairs 2012, 2013, 2017 2018
Energy 2015, 2016 2018
Digitalization 2017 2018
Health 2017 2018

Appendix C-2: G20 Working and Study Groups 2018

Appendix C-3: Civil Society Engagement Groups

B20 Business 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
L20 Labour 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Y20 Youth 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
C20 Civil 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
T20 Think Tanks 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
W20 Women 2015, 2016, 2017
S20 Science 2017
YES Young Entrepreneurs' Summit 2010–2017
(G)20 Girls 2010–2017
F20 Faith  

[back to top] [back to text]

Appendix D: G20 Network through Plurilateral Summit Institutions

  G8[a] MEM Commonwealth Francophonie ASEM OSCE APEC SOA SCO NATO OIC Total
Argentina               x       1
Australia    x x       x         3
Brazil x  x           x       3
Canada x  x x x   x x x   x   8
China x  x     x   x   x     5
France x  x   x x x       x   6
Germany x  x     x x       x   5
India x  x x   x       xb     5
Indonesia    x     x   x       x 4
Italy x  x     x x       x   5
Japan x  x     x   x         4
Korea    x     x   x         3
Mexico x  x         x x       4
Netherlands         x x       x   3
Russia x  x       x x   x   xb 6
Saudi Arabia    x                   1
South Africa x  x x                 3
Spain         x x       x   3
Turkey           x       x x 3
United Kingdom x  x x   x x       x   6
United States x  x       x x x   x   6
European Union x  x     x             3
Total 14 18 5 2 12 10 9 5 3 9 3 90


Includes plurilateral summit institutions of trans-regional reach containing members from the developed and emerging/developing world.

MEM = Major Economies Meeting; ASEM = Asia–European Union Meeting; OSCE = Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe; APEC=Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation; SOA = Summit of the Americas; NATO=North Atlantic Treaty Organization; SCO=Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; SOA=Summit of the Americas; OIC = Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

a Includes Plus Five members.

[back to top] [back to text]

Appendix E-1: G20 Argentina Agenda for 2018

Appendix E-2: G20 Argentina Preparatory Process for 2018

[back to top]

John KirtonJohn Kirton is director of the G7 Research Group, and co-director of the G20 Research Group, the Global Health Diplomacy Program and the BRICS Research Group, all based at Trinity College at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is also a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at China's Renmin University. A professor of political science, he teaches global governance and international relations and Canadian foreign policy. His most recent books include China's G20 Leadership (Routledge, 2016), G20 Governance for a Globalized World (Ashgate, 2012) and (with Ella Kokotsis), The Global Governance of Climate Change: G7, G20 and UN Leadership (Ashgate, 2015), as well as The G8-G20 Relationship in Global Governance, co-edited with Marina Larionova (Ashgate, 2015), and Moving Health Sovereignty in Africa: Disease, Govenance, Climate Change, co-edted with Andrew F. Cooper, Franklyn Lisk and Hany Besada (Ashgate, 2014). Kirton is also co-editor of several publications on the G7/8, the G20 and the BRICS published by Newsdesk Media.

This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library
and the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g20@utoronto.ca
This page was last updated December 21, 2017 .

All contents copyright © 2024. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.