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John Kirton, Brittaney Warren1
  • 1 University of Toronto, Devonshire Place, 1, Room 308N, Ontario, Toronto, Canada, M5S 3K7

G20 Governance of Digitalization

2018. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 17–47 [issue contents]
This study systematically assesses the G20 summit’s performance on digitalization across the key dimensions and suggests what has caused its particular pattern of performance thus far [Kirton, 2013]. It argues that the G20 summit’s digitalization governance has been increasingly successful. Its digitalization agenda steadily expanded since the beginning, with a major surge in 2016–17. G20 summits first addressed digitalization in response to the American-turned-global financial crisis of 2008. Then, G20 leaders acknowledged e-commerce as an important tool to manage the crisis. They then gradually expanded their agenda to finally focus on inequality, a root cause of antiglobalization. They thus moved from a crisis-response to a crisis-prevention approach. This spread and spike is seen in the G20’s direction-setting, decision-making and institutional development of global governance, but not in its delivery of its decisions. This overall performance was driven partly by the shocking surge in populism bred by inequality in the UK and U.S. in 2015 and 2016, by the failure of the established multilateral organizations in response, by the global predominance and equalizing capabilities of G20 members in specialized digital capabilities and their convergence on the economic growth through openness that digitalization brought. Yet this performance flowed primarily from the hosting of economically reforming China in 2016 and export-oriented Germany in 2017, whose politically secure leaders sought to shape digitalization for the benefit of all in response to the rise of populism and protectionism in the UK and the United States.
Citation: Kirton J. J., Warren B. (2018) G20 Governance of Digitalization. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 13, no 2, pp. 16–41 (in Russian and English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2018-02-02.
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