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ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081



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Marina Larionova

G20: Engaging with International Organizations to Generate Growth 

2017. Vol. 12. No. 2. P. 54–86 [issue contents]

Born in response to economic and financial crises which existing institutions were unable to address adequately, the G20 transformed from a crisis management group into the premier forum for international economic cooperation. Like its predecessor, the G7 (which was set up in 1975), and BRICS (established in 2009), G20 is an informal club or summit institution. To ensure continuity, legitimacy and efficiency in fulfilling their global governance functions of deliberation, direction-setting, decision-making, delivery and the development of global governance, the G20 members engage other international organizations. It is hypothesized that to maximize benefits from its engagement with international organizations, the G20 resorts to a combination of the “catalyst”, “core group” and “parallel treatment” approaches exercised by summit institutions. These include exerting an influence in promoting changes to international organizations through endorsement or stimulus, compelling them to reform, imparting a new direction by giving a lead that the other organizations would follow, and creating original mechanisms, working in parallel with existing institutions. The article tests this assumption. To trace the dynamics of G20 engagement with multilateral organizations and identify preferred models across the presidencies and policy areas, the analysis is carried out within the rational choice institutionalist paradigm, drawing on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of documents adopted by the G20.

Findings from the study indicate that the intensity of the G20 engagement with the IOs is very high and G20 mostly resorts to a combination of the catalyst and core group approaches, though the pattern depends on the policy area, the IOs and the presidency agenda. The intensity of G20 engagement with the IMF, Financial Stability Board, World Bank, and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development by far exceeds the intensity of its interaction with other institutions. The UN comes only seventh in the G20 discourse in terms of the sharing and intensity of references. There are very few cases of parallel treatment and most of them are in the sphere of infrastructure investment, which can be interpreted as a G20 response to a persistent gap in the demand and supply for infrastructure investment and governance leadership in this area. Thus in implementing the forum mission and functions, G20 prefer to engage with key international organizations, acting as “a hub of a global network”.

The article starts with a brief overview of the study’s analytical paradigm and methodology. It then proceeds to examine the dynamics and modes of G20 engagement with international organizations across a wide spectrum of policy areas. The final section summaries and concludes.

Citation: Larionova M. (2017) G20: Engaging with International Organizations to Generate Growth. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 12, no 2, pp. 54–86 (in Russian and English). DOI:10.17323/1996-7845-2017-02-54
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