G20 As An Effective Instrument Of Global Governance

 It will now be questioned whether the G20, based on its strengths and weaknesses, is an effective instrument of global governance today.

First, the strengths of the G20 will be investigated, before the weaknesses will be accounted for.

The G20 provides several factors that strengthens its position as an instrument of global governance. Firstly, through focusing on the hegemonic stability theory, it can be argued that the G20 stabilises global governance. This can be the case if one assumes that the US is a hegemon in the current international society, in which the G20 works as a cooperation of states that is being led by the US hegemon (Milner 1998: 113). By exploring this theory one can, therefore, argue that the G20, with the US as the global hegemon, strengthens global governance based on the cooperation it promotes between different economies. By considering the abovementioned remarks by Morgenthau (1978: 17) and Wight (1966: 95), this argument can receive further support. The G20 connects states of different economic development and political ideologies and force them to recognise similarities between each other in order to cooperate (Wight 1966: 95). Accordingly, the G20 could eventually help ending the anarchic character of the international system, as described by Morgenthau, through leading a movement aiming at political cooperation towards responding to international problems and dilemmas (1978: 17). Hedley Bull further argues that a group of states that allows themselves to be “bound by a common set of rules in their relations with one another” (1977: 13) develops the international society and distances it from its anarchical character. One can, thereby, argue that the G20’s strength in promoting cooperation between states prove its efficiency as an instrument of global governance.

To build further on this, one can argue that interdependence between the G20 states is another strength of the forum.

Andrew F. Cooper and Ramesh Thakur argue that growing interdependence fosters a shared responsibility on finding solutions to mutual vulnerabilities and insecurities (2013: 20). The G20 helps maintaining global multilateralism that the international society and global governance, relies on. The continuation of interdependence between the G20 countries will continue to strengthen a multilateral international society, in which states collectively deal with common challenges that are best managed collaboratively on the international level (Cooper and Thakur 2013: 5-6). Should the G20 cease to exist, the international society would have one less international forum that promote international cooperation, which would thereby further weaken multilateralism in the international society.

A third way the G20 has shown its strength and importance in global governance was their responses to the 2008 GFC. In the wake of the GFC there was a need for a more representative and legitimate forum than the G8 to ensure that a second Great Depression would not take place (Callaghan et al. 2014: 1). The G20 managed to coordinate global macroeconomic and financial policies, create more balanced and sustainable growth and achieve a financial stability through enacting extraordinary policy measures that ended the worst economic recession since the Great Depression of 1930 (Callaghan et al. 2014: 1-2). The G20 has therefore proven able to coordinate global financial policies despite their different states’ having distinct domestic political interests. The ability to help ending the GFC reveal the collective strength of the G20 and its member states.

These three arguments explain on how the G20 is an effective instrument of global governance today. More than anything, the G20 promotes cooperation between different states and the economic North and South, which ensures the continuation of multilateralism in today’s international society. The importance of this was shown through the efficient responses to the GFC by the G20 states.