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ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081



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Marina Larionova , Andrei Shelepov

The G20, G7 and BRICS in Global Economic Governance

2019. Vol. 14. No. 4. P. 48–71 [issue contents]

The G20, established to overcome the 2008 financial and economic crisis, has asserted itself as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, most representative and authoritative mechanism for coordinating positions and forging collective decisions on economic policy issues. Members of the G7 and BRICS, the oldest club of developed industrial economies and the youngest club of the largest emerging economies, coordinate within the G20. It is argued  that in the process of consensus-building in the G20, advanced and developing countries form new ad hoc groupings on specific issues, which temporarily supersede the existing alliances, such as the G7/8 and BRICS, and allow them to pursue decisions conforming to their national interests.

This article reviews the G7 and BRICS members’ positions and coalition-building in the process of forging decisions on the issues historically central to the G20 agenda: international financial institutions reform, macroeconomic policy and financial regulation. The authors seek to reveal what role the BRICS and G7 alliances played in advancing their members’ priorities in the G20 decisions? Have ad hoc groupings of advanced and developing economies indeed replaced the traditional alliances? Was the BRICS successful in using the cooperation within the G20 to rebalance power and change the rules of the game in the global system? Has the G7 managed to maintain and consolidate its influence in the renewed system of global economic governance? What resources the BRICS possess for compensating the deficit of influence on the G20 decisions to achieve a more democratic and equitable multipolar world order and ensure sustainable, strong, balanced and inclusive growth?

The findings show that, despite contradictions within the alliances and common interests between the BRICS and some G7 members on a number of issues, ad hoc groupings of advanced and developing countries do not replace the existing clubs. The G7 members successfully use coordination within their club to resolve internal contradictions, develop a common position and jointly promote it in the G20. The G7 ensured strengthening of the IFI system and its influence in it through cooperation with new centers of power, with a slight increase in the IMF and WB quota and votes shares for the BRICS; minimum reduction of these figures for the G7; and maintaining control over the IFIs governance.  Both alliances influenced the G20 decisions to stimulate economic growth while maintaining price stability and ensuring financial sustainability. On managing the exchange rates, the BRICS and G7 acted as partners in the G20; however, the G7 demonstrated leadership in building consensus to address competitive devaluation. The G7 drove the financial regulation agenda. The BRICS established new institutions and rules. These new institutions create public goods for their members and their partners, exert catalytic influence for reform of the existing system, contribute to building a more equitable global economic governance. However, BRICS failed to change the balance of power and the rules of the game in the existing cooperation set up.

Citation: Larionova M., Shelepov V. (2019) The G20, G7 and BRICS in Global Economic Governance. International Organisations Research Journal , vol. 14, no 4 (in English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2019-04-03.
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