Global governance, power transition, and the G20

By Mohsen Shariatinia and Ehsan Razani
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 17, 2015
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Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the first session of the 10th summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

The Group of twenty (G20) is considered as one of the newest-established global governance organizations. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the G20 economies account for 90 percent of global economy, 80 percent of world trade, more than 65 percent of the world's population, and 84 percent of the global fossil fuel emissions. With the above-facts in mind, one can say that the G20 has great potential to participate in global governance.

The G20 gained more importance at the onset of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008. With the 2015 G20 summit being held in Antalya, Turkey on Nov. 15, what factors now would influence the position of the G20 in the global governance?

The first efforts to establish global governance dated back to the early 20th century. Since then, one new organization after another has sprung up. During this period, some emerged successful in meeting their objectives while some others, like the League of Nations, proved unable to fulfill the core of their mandate and, thus, were disbanded.

The G20 is planning to expand its activities at the time that global power transition seems to be different than before. On the one hand, transition of power can be observed from the developed world to a number of developing countries, and on the other, states are giving up some of their power to non-state actors. Needless to say the mentioned processes would strongly influence the global transition of power and thereby G20's position.

Although the G20 has put its focus on the global economic governance, the truth is what Joseph Schumpeter, the Austro-American economist, once said that economics is all about "politics, politics, and politics." For this reason, after terrorist attacks in Paris, security and political issues lies at the center piece of the G20 summit.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to the global leadership in future, it really matters whether the power transition would lead to more cooperation between the emerging powers and the old powers or would stimulate further strategic competition between "the West and the rest."

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