Global Governance | Analysis and New Insights

Making the G-20 a Reservoir of Global Leadership: A Maximalist Argument

David Shorr | April 2011


The elevation of the G-20 in 2009 to be an ongoing summit-level forum is emblematic of the power shifts that have placed the old post-WWII order under significant strain. No other recent multilateral innovation is so clearly premised on bringing together the established and emerging powers as peers.

At the same time, the shortcomings of recent G-summitry show that the project of emerging/established power cooperation is far from completed. Assuming that this forum has not exhausted its potential in two short years, what path can G-20 leaders take toward a greater impact?

This brief takes a consciously maximalist approach in arguing that the G-20 can become a vital multilateral hub where political leaders overcome policy differences and combine their leverage to tackle the major challenges of the era.