Globalization and the G8: Could Kananaskis Set a New Direction?
Before starting I would like to say how honoured I am to be chosen to present a memorial lecture for O.D. Skelton. In reading the history of the Department of External Affairs by John Hilliker I was struck by Skelton’s speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa in 1922 on “Canada and Foreign Policy” in which he rebutted Lloyd George’s claim that the British Foreign Office must run the empire’s foreign policy. Skelton provided a rationale for Canadian control by arguing that foreign policy “was an extension of domestic policy and that as we had gained control of the one we must gain control of the other as to matters affecting ourselves”.Footnote 1 Fast forward 80 years and today the boundary between domestic and foreign policy is increasingly blurred and “control” of both is eroding by the deepening integration of the world economy and polity. I wonder how Skelton would have rephrased his dictum to Prime Minister Mackenzie King who was in the audience. In a way, the subject of today’s lecture is concerned with this issue, albeit rephrased. The title is “Globalization and the G8: Could Kananaskis Set a New Direction?”. Can a middle power play a significant role in foreign policy? Please note that the title ends with a question mark. No answer tonight or probably even after Kananaskis since there are, as I don’t need to underline, no fast fixes for dealing with the complex and ever-changing challenges to global governance of which summitry is a part.
One more thing about O.D. Skelton: his wide-ranging and impressive legacy preeminently included his contribution to the building of a Canadian public service based on merit. He was, in the words of Clifford Clark, responsible for “the enhancement of the power and prestige of the Canadan Civil Service, of which he was so universally recognized as the leader, without peer”.Footnote 2 I was one of the many who benefited from this Skelton legacy, so I know personally how important it was. This was especially so in foreign policy where the Avis principle rules i.e. if you’re second you must try harder – and, I would add, you need the capabilities to do so.
Now, to turn to our subject I should emphasize that the topic is not Kananaskis per se but rather a more generic approach to Summitry as an institution and its role in the broad architecture of international cooperation which was established after World War II. I shall start with a brief history of the origins of the G7 and its evolution since that time. The changing nature of the institution reflects many factors and this lecture will only highlight a few of the more significant. And finally I will conclude with Kananaskis by asking a deliberately provocative question: will it be a beginning of the end or could it mark a new beginning?
Origin of the G7
In 1975 the G7 was the first institution established after the creation of the postwar architecture and it was not an initiative of the leading power or hegemon, the United States. It’s both interesting and relevant to ask “why?”.
The creation of the G7 seemed to run counter to the so-called realist school of international relations, i.e. that hegemony is necessary to build institutions for the attainment of a global public good because only the dominant power has an incentive to accept the inevitable short-run costs to achieve the long-run gains which are in their national interest. Thus, as many studies have amply demonstrated, Bretton Woods, the GATT, the Marshall Plan and the United Nations were the products of American leadership, although the British, because of Lord Keynes, did play a role at Bretton Woods. The U.S. accepted the costs arising from non-reciprocal trade liberalization and the financial costs of reconstruction and the Marshall Plan because it was judged that global stability would greatly benefit American industry and society. The onset of the Cold War certainly played a role, as did the memory of the devastating costs of isolation in the 1920’s and 30’s. So the U.S. was willing to lead and the Europeans and Japan were willing to follow.Footnote 3
But the erosion of America’s overwhelming hegemony had begun by the onset of the 1970’s. The reconstruction of Europe and Japan, the technology transfer and investment encouraged by the Marshall Plan, and the liberalization of trade under the GATT, created the “convergence club”, so that after the rapid growth of Europe and Japan in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the post war gap in real per capita output among O.E.C.D. countries had dramatically narrowed.Footnote 4 This proved to be an unwelcome surprise to many Americans.
Further, the impact of the erosion of American power created a vacuum in global cooperation and represented a serious threat to global stability. The threat soon became much clearer as the Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971 and a new “non-system” of floating exchange rates emerged in 1973. Finally, the first OPEC oil crisis of 1973-74 triggered action – the creation in 1975 of a new institution, the Economic Summit, at the initiative of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of France, and Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of Germany. Both Giscard d’Estaing and Schmidt were former finance ministers and they were very much influenced by participation in the meetings of the so-called Library Group of finance ministers from the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany, and later Japan. These meetings – held in the Library of the White House – were small, informal and secret. The intent of the Summit’s founders was to replicate this template as much as possible and to prevent any bureaucratization of the institution. The objectives were also limited – to foster global financial stability by providing a forum for building cooperation in macro-economic policy. Political or security issues were not part of the agenda. These were the domain of NATO. Most important, the Cold War ensured Western cohesion on all major issues, both political and economic.
Finally, though the Summit was conceived as a non-institutional institution, it was in fact intended to create and implement a set of basic norms and principles which were implicit rather than explicit so as to maximize flexibility and adaptability. This fits into the accepted definition of an institution in the discipline of political science.
Are there any lessons to be drawn from the creation of the G7? One could argue that it was a unique event dictated by the circumstances of the 1970’s, which allowed two middle powers, led by former Finance Ministers, both highly experienced and forceful personalities, to undertake a major initiative at a time when the U.S. was mired in Viet Nam and aware of the erosion of its lead in economic performance. None the less, the launch of the G7 does challenge the realist school’s view that hegemony is a necessary – if not always sufficient – requirement for the establishment of international regimes. But it’s also important to stress that personalities and circumstances matter. The Summit, at the outset, was episodic in nature and that continued to be a defining characteristic.
Evolution of the G7/G8
In highlighting the evolution of the summit over the past nearly three decades there are continuing if increasingly faint echoes of its Library Group vision. One could describe it as minimalist chic. No bureaucratization; collegial, informal discussion among Heads of Government designed to foster domestic policy cooperation to achieve limited, clearly explicated, international objectives. But a brief history of summitry amply demonstrates what is sometimes called “mission creep” – writ large, one could say, despite periodic attempts to go back to the beginning.
In the early years, from 1975 to 1980, while the summit did focus on basic economic issues, including financial stability and trade, it was the only forum available for crisis management and demonstrated its strategic advantage over the large international institutions in flexibility or adaptability. Because of the OPEC shock, energy was on the table from the outset as was trade, and the Summit played a major role in the conclusion of the Tokyo Round in 1978. The 1978 Bonn Summit sought to move beyond cooperation to coordination, involving a linkage between macroeconomies and energy policies among the main players. This proved to be the only example of such ambitious international coordination and generated rancorous debate as to whether the approach was basically sound and should establish a new paradigm or seriously perverse, contributing significantly to the economic problems of the early 1980’s, especially inflation (though the second OPEC shock was the main culprit in that regard). In any case, coordination and linkage was a no-no as the 1980’s as Ronald Thatcherism arrived.Footnote 5
During the 1980’s the approach to macropolicy was “get your own house in order”. Cooperation, yes, but mainly through consultation and exchange of information.Footnote 6 A major change was the move from economic into political issues, a priority for President Reagan as the Cold War heated up. The 1983 Williamsbrug Summit, preceded by Reagan’s famous speech condemning the Soviet Union as the “evil empire”, was the first which included East-West security issues. But traditional issues such as trade – the effort to launch and sustain the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations – and macroeconomic issues, especially inflation fighting, were also prominent. In addition, relations with developing countries first appeared in Venice, in 1980; environment and manned space stations in London in 1984; cooperation in science and technology in Bonn in 1985; terrorism, hijacking and drugs in Tokyo the following year. Mission creep had begun, communiqués grew longer, and political annexes were issued. Finally, an important institutional change was made in Tokyo, in 1986 – the creation of a new summit forum, the G7 Finance Ministers. It was significant in many ways but in the present context it gradually reduced the role of the Summit itself in macroeconomic cooperation and international finance. Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors were now the main players in the policy domain for which the Summit had been created. This important development illustrates the significance of personalities and the episodic nature of the Summit: by 1982 no Head of Government had ever been a Finance Minister and the Library Group vision (at least in terms of the basic objectives of the institution) had faded. But not entirely. Minimalism was still considered chic as some institutional innovations in the 1990’s illustrate.
During the first half of the 1990’s the summits were dominated by the end of the Cold War and the reform and marketization process in the former Soviet Empire. At the Halifax Summit institutional reform of the international financial system was launched and this became an ongoing subject because of the Asian crisis. Mission creep accelerated with the number and length of non-economic documents steadily increasing.
An effort was made by John Major in the London Summit in 1991 to stem the paper tidal wave (with limited success) and after Munich, 1992, Major proposed to his colleagues that leaders should meet alone without any Ministers attending. At the Birmingham Summit in 1998, Major’s successor, Tony Blair, implemented this proposed reform.
But the paper output and the agenda expansion continued. A few examples will illustrate. In Okinawa, 2000, the Summit Communiqué was accompanied by 30 pages of other documents and in Genoa, 2001, this had expanded to 47 pages. The list of agenda items is also insightful. In Okinawa, these included: financial architecture; money laundering; debt relief and development; information and communications technology; health; trade; an item called “Deeper Peace of Mind” which involved crime, food safety and the human genome, and the environment. In Genoa, the list was pretty much the same but it didn’t mention “Deeper Peace of Mind” (presciently?) and added renewable energy; capacity building and social inclusion. While the G7 had officially become the G8 in Birmingham, the G7 still has a separate existence and issues “statements” without the G8 logo imprinted on the communiqué. And while Ministers were excluded from Summit sessions, there were regular meetings before each Summit. Indeed more and more Ministerial meetings.
The sporadic efforts to stem mission creep have obviously not been successful. While the Summit now includes only leaders, the bureaucratization has been “downloaded” with multiple meetings of Ministers and sous-sherpas that generate the paper. The new minimalism was largely a mirage. As new global issues emerge – drugs, “money laundering”, terrorism are examples – leaders feel it essential to put them on the agenda, whether because of domestic concerns, or the media spotlight, or pressure from the international NGO networks (of which more shortly). Or, indeed, all of the above since the forces are inter-related.
Many would argue that mission creep was inevitable. The Cold War is over and the former Soviet empire must be integrated into the global market economy. Deepening integration – or globalization – has exposed an array of “global bads”, diverse, diffuse and interrelated such as environmental concerns; poverty; financial crises; the increasing marginalization of the poorest countries; disease; terrorism; etc. etc. Domestic concerns over job creation; the structural adjustments which inevitably accompany expanding trade; the impact of accelerating technological change are linked to international developments. All these issues are extremely complex and defy neat, clear or short-term solutions. So once on the agenda they are unlikely to disappear. And “solutions” will often involve institutional reform – likely a long and often contentious process as the initiative on the international financial system launched at Halifax so amply illustrates, when even today some of the most important policy issues remain unresolved. And, it should be remembered, the Summit is considered the only forum available for crisis management whether it be the Russian economy, Kosovo or, as we will see at Kananaskis, the “new war”.
So, this argument goes, mission creep is a product of the globalizing world we live in. And although Summits may not be the only game in town – since the 1980’s they’ve proliferated, so there are now regional summits, UN Summits, FAO Summits and many others – none the less the G7/8 is considered the apex. Thus, this argument contends, while continuing efforts to scale-back should be made, mission creep can’t really be avoided, though it probably should be contained.
While I will turn to this issue in my last remarks I must add one more, indeed the most significant, aspect of the evolution of summitry in the 1990’s. In adopting an ever-expanding agenda, the summiteers were also inclined to – or forced to – include specific goals. Perhaps it was deemed necessary to do so to add to the gravitas of the institutional commitment, or to the credibility of the lengthy piles of paper. Or because it played well with the media’s demand for policy by sound byte. But if the goals are unrealistic or are simply based on the hope of catalyzing action either by reluctant member governments or other multilateral institutions this is a rather imprudent approach. (It might be wise to recall World Bank President Robert MacNamara’s pledge in 1973 to eradicate proverty by the year 2000!) The goals for debt reduction of poor countries set at Cologne have not been met. The broad and ambitious development targets announced by the U. N.'s Millenial Summit covering poverty, infant mortality, and primary education seem, at present, most unlikely to be reached. Rather than enhancing credibility, this mode of operation has led to an increasingly skeptical view of the institution in the press and among some academics. But added to these voices, of course, has been the often more raucous shouts of the NGOs. This is worth a brief digression before I turn to my concluding remarks.
The Anti-Globalization Movement
In 1998, at the Birmingham Summit which the host government wanted to focus on debt relief for poor countires, 50,000 people demonstrated. The message was that the Summit should commit to deliver complete debt forgiveness by 2000. The NGOs were mainly British development groups and Christian charities and the Jubilee 2000 campaign was launched. The slogan “Break the Chains of Debt” caught the attention of the media and the public.Footnote 7 The demonstrators organized a human chain six miles long encircling the convention centre to reinforce the message. For the most part the protest was peaceful although a small group of vandals did try to break some windows.
The results on debt relief which came out of Birmingham were disappointing but the NGO network didn’t give up. A new commitment was made at Cologne in 1999. It was not met at Okinawa in 2000. And by Genoa, the peaceful Birmingham demonstrations seemed a distant memory.
The Birmingham demos didn’t get worldwide T.V. coverage. That was hardly true of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle a few months later. The Seattle demonstrations have been called – with a bit of hyperbole – the big bang of the anti-globalization movement and the global media provided non-stop coverage of the street theatre. The same was true of the subsequent meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City and, of course, the G8 Summit in Genoa where the violence was unprecedented and one demonstrator was killed.
So what is this new anti-globalization movement of the NGOs? This is not the occasion for lengthy exposition but it’s important to stress, as my ongoing research makes clear, that there is no homogeneous set of institutions called NGOs. Even if we separate out the development groups in poor countries from the advocacy NGOs, whose main objective is to shape policy, one has to divide the latter into several categories. For example, there is a growing new “virtual secretariat” for Southern countries, and there has been a remarkable proliferation of groups centred on establishing business codes of conduct, and there are groups rich in technical and legal expertise who usually consult “inside” the system, and all of these are rather different from what I’ve termed the Mobilization Networks, for whom a major objective is to rally support for dissent at a specific event – a WTO ministerial meeting, the Summit of the Americas, a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the G8 Summit and so on.
The main objectives of the mobilization networks are to heighten public awareness of the target international institution’s role in globalization and, by doing so, to change its agenda and mode of operation – or, in the case of the more extreme members, to shut it down. While these networks are loosely knit coalitions of very disparate groups, an analysis of the networks at Seattle (in 1999), Washington, Bangkok and Prague (in 2000) and Quebec City (in 2001) show that a significant proportion are environmental, human and gender rights NGOs, and anti-poverty groups. The G8 Summit in Genoa in July 2001 included these groups but also a number of left-wing political parties from Europe, an unknown number of anarchist groups known as the Black Bloc and neo-nazi groups now growing in Europe. However one must be wary of the view (often stressed by the NGOs themselves) that these loose and diverse coalitions represent a new form of globalized participatory democracy on the internet or, as one participant has put it, “a movement that doesn’t have a leader, a centre, or even an agreed-on name”. Perhaps the most significant development facilitated by the internet has been the emergence of a new service industry – the business of dissent. And there is a business centre – call it dissent.com – very effectively operated by a core group of NGOs headed by a new breed of policy entrepreneurs. It’s important to stress that the dissent industry is largely a product of the internet revolution. Inexpensive, borderless, real-time networking provides advocacy NGOs with economies of scale and also of scope by linking widely disparate groups with one common theme. As is the case for all innovations there are also important positive feedback loops. An NGO Network established at the Rio Summit in 1992 was used by American, Canadian and Mexican anti-NAFTA advocacy groups and this experience was vital to mobilizing the fight against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). The lessons from the MAI were put to use in preparing for Seattle and the Seattle experience was helpful for planning to Washington and Prague and Porto Allegre and Davos and Quebec City and Genoa and so on – and on.
The key assets of dissent.com are the ability to use the media to deliver the message. Since the networks are so diverse both in mission and location the message must carry a simple, common theme: for example at Seattle, “Fix It or Nix It”; at Washington, “De-Fund the Fund! Break the Bank! Dump the Debt!”. Even when the message and the media are combined with money (for those NGOs successful at mass mailings and securing funds from foundations – mainly American) the viability of the new “business” will depend on not only on the 3M’s but ultimately the saleability of its “product” – anti-globalization, or as some prefer anti-corporate globalization.
In Genoa, the Genoa Social Forum, in charge of coordinating the demonstrations and discussions, wasn’t able to control the violence of extremist groups from both the left and right. The police reaction added to the violence and chaos. Even before Genoa a number of mainline NGOs sought to distance themselves from the demonstrations, fearful of being associated with violence. There is probably an inevitable tendency for all protest to attract extremists – a free ride is hard to decline. Escalating violence generates the need for more policy security which encourages more violence among extremists and, of course, Genoa was hardly the end of the story. The impact of Sept. 11 has added to the pressure to adopt new strategies. However, the announcement of the death of the anti-globalization movement after the terrorist attack by, among others, the Wall Street Journal, has proved premature as the victory at the Doha WTO meeting on drugs and health emergencies and the 60-70,000 attendees at the World Social Forum in Porto Allegré in February suggest. A January 2002 survey shows that trust in NGOs has risen significantly from a year ago.Footnote 8 None the less a change in strategy is under serious consideration by the major NGOs. But it’s too early to forecast how this will develop. The nature of the site at Kananaskis, as at Doha, may not provide much of an answer to the question “to demonstrate or not to demonstrate?”
But it would be quite wrong to judge the impact of this movement on policy only by what one sees on CNN. The situation is far more complex and, as I have written, the “invisible” impact by technical/legal groups on, for example, the WTO via the dispute settlement mechanism, may be more significant and long-lasting.Footnote 9 Similarly the impact of the Jubilee 2000 campaign launched at Birmingham and of its enlarged network of successor organizations which have added education and health issues to their advocacy for debt relief can be clearly seen in the Summit agendas at Genoa and probably Kananaskis. The paper released just before the Genoa Summit “Beyond Debt Relief” and the G7 finance ministers’ “Debt Relief and Beyond”, mirror the NGO network’s concerns but not its demands for specific commitments to achieve the multiple goals. One can be certain that the outcomes of Kananaskis will be carefully monitored by the NGOs and the press. Perhaps the new message will be ”put your money where your rhetoric is“. Joking aside, I am convinced that the criticism of the summit will not abate if significant reform of the institution is not undertaken.
Kananaskis: the Beginning of the End or a New Beginning?
While previous summits have been criticized in the press – most recently Okinawa, for example, for the expenditure of $750 million on facilities – the decibel level rose significantly after Genoa. This had little to do with the protests and the violence but with the institution itself. The Financial Times was especially scathing with a lead editorial entitled “For slimmer and sporadic summits” (July 23, 2001). It argued that “judged on the record of Genoa, delegates from G8 governments should pack their bags knowing this was the last summit they will have to endure”. The editorial concluded with a positive comment on the Canadian decision to scale back and hold the meeting in a “tiny Rocky Mountains resort”, but asserted that this was insufficient. What was also required was a “commitment to hold the next G8 only when there is a burning topic to discuss”. Just how and who would make such a decision was not explained. Still the message was clear – and not only from this source – that there is a need to recognize “the limits of global summits and making them work”. Few could disagree.
But this is easier said than done, of course. There are two features of summitry that need careful examination. One is the membership. The G7, still the core of the institution reflects the world of 1975 and not the transformation of East Asia, the rise of China and the growing intensity of North-South issues in, for example, the WTO. In addition to membership is the mission creep and rhetorical inflation described earlier. This is undoubtedly far more difficult to cope with as I shall shortly explain.
The only change in summit membership since 1975 has been the inclusion of Russia. Margaret Thatcher invited President Gorbachev to attend the London Summit in 1990, a striking if largely symbolic affirmation of the end of the Cold War. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin replaced Gorbachev but the Russians participated only in political discussions. But the G7 became the G8 only in 1998, and even then Russia’s role in economic cooperation was understandably limited.
There have been a plethora of proposals to expand the G8.Footnote 10 The most popular candidate in recent years has been the G20, created and chaired by Canada’s Paul Martin, which includes the G8 and a number of developing countries from Latin America, Asia and Africa.Footnote 11 The main argument for expansion is that the institution should include developing countries and reflect a better regional balance if it is to consider the major issues of a globalizing world. Efforts have been made to meet with selected groups of developing countries en marge the official sessions – the latest example being a dinner in Genoa with members of the African members of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development or NEPAD. This ad hocery is considered too little and too late and reflective of the episodic nature of the forum which is unsuited to today’s more complex and rapidly changing world.
But would a G-N summit be able to foster consensus on key global issues or cope with unanticipated crises? Would it not turn the forum into a small replica of the inflexible international institutions, at least when profoundly complex and contentious issues – poverty, development, the environment, for example – are high on the agenda? Could an implicit agreement on basic norms and principles really govern dialogue between the G7 and China – or China and India for that matter? These and other questions should be carefully thought through before the G8 is turned into the G-N. Perhaps it would also be useful to consider the possibility of a core group with a core agenda and variable geography for other issues.Footnote 12 But that gets us to the really tough problem – the agenda.
The centrepiece of the Kananaskis summit, as announced by Prime Minister Chrétien in a speech to the World Economic Forum, will be to reduce the marginalization of Africa by working with NEPAD. An African Action Plan is being prepared, by personal representatives of G8 leaders and African officials, for adoption at Kananaskis. It will address a wide range of issues including peace and security; health, education, trade and investment, all essential to development and the reduciton of poverty. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of Canadian values of caring and compassion and belief in an “equitable sharing of global prosperity and opportunity”. There was no mention of the costs involved in implementing the African Action Plan.
Dealing with African marginalization is both praiseworthy and essential to the achievement of comprehensive global security. The subject reflects the shift over the past several years to global issues with a strong moral resonance, in part a response to a media that favors the emotive over the intellectual and the NGOs who seem to have captured the moral high ground on subjects such as aids and debt relief. Be that as it may, the need for a comprehensive and coherent strategy for Africa devised in partnership with the African countries is clearly an appropriate subject for the G7.
But there’s a problem. There’s no agreement at present among the G7 on financing. Au contraire. While Prime Minister Blair has been campaigning for a new Marshall Plan for Africa, the U.S. has clearly indicated that its aid budget will be only marginally increased (mainly to deal with Afghanistan) and at the G8 meeting with NEPAD in mid-February it was announced that the G8 countries were unable “to meet African expectations for – financial support”.Footnote 13 One can debate whether or not aid has been effective or not – the U.S. Treasury Secretary argues that in the past much of it was wasted – and one can also disagree on what a development strategy for individual countries should include, since there’s considerable disagreement among experts. But it’s hard to believe that more financial assistance will not be crucial.Footnote 14 And if the U.S. won’t play the game will others go ahead anyway?
Differences between the U.S. and other members of the G8 go well beyond aid financing. If the cold war was often described as the glue that binds, the “new war” looks likely to become the acid that erodes. The transatlantic rift over the next stage of the war – specifically the implications of American policies with respect to the “axis of evil” – will not be easily resolved, to put it mildly. But it is not just the charges made by some leading Europeans that the United States is becoming unilateralist and treating coalition partners like “satellites”.Footnote 15 As a number of military experts have noted, the U.S. is far ahead in military capabilities, and poised to grow even more, so that the disparity will widen. So NATO is just not needed to fight “new wars” and will have to find another role for itself. This will take some time, of course, and there is by no means a unanimity of view among the European members.
As Paul Kennedy has noted recently, in military terms there is only one player.Footnote 16 And the same is at present also true in economic terms. And the disparity of power in both is likely to grow for the foreseeable future. There is no catch-up on the horizon which will create a convergence club. This is hegemony big time.
So what has all this got to do with summit reform? The summit was created by middle powers at a time when the hegemon was – or appeared to be – in decline. The cold war prevailed. But the catalyst that sparked the change was crisis – the breakdown of Bretton Woods and the onset of OPEC One.
I would argue that there is a different kind of crisis facing the G8 today. The widening transatlantic divide on both security and other issues and the concern of most other countries in the globe about alleged American unilateralism could well represent a serious threat to global stability. The summit is the only forum that could deal with the complex global issues that have and will arise in this world of deepening integration and uncertainty. But the creditiblity of the summit has steadily diminished – and given the centrepiece of Africa at Kananaskis it’s difficult to be hopeful about the outcome (even without considering Zimbabwe!). The negative feedback cycles will continue. Thus the need to severely cut back on the agenda; to establish credible and transparent follow-up mechanisms; to re-examine the structure and role of the G8 in the architecture of international governance has become even more urgent. Surely it would be possible for a middle power to propose that a key agenda item for the next summit should be the reform of summitry? Other G8 members would likely agree and even the hegemon is unlikely to object in principle but will wait until the drafting of the report begins. Then peer group pressure might be exercised. Even hegemons are susceptible to growing negative publicity about arrogance.
- Date Modified: