The G8 System and the G20: Evolution, Role and Documentation
The Group of Eight, now thirty-two years old, has become a central actor in global governance, with a steadily expanding role and agenda. The leaders' summits remain at the apex of the G8 system, but the leaders' work is complemented by intensifying and expanding networks of ministerial fora and various task forces and expert groups. Some of these entities, initially launched by the leaders, have taken on a life of their own with an agenda that diverges from the main concerns of the summits. Hajnal pays close attention to these activities; for example, the Financial Action Task Force and the DOT Force, the G20 finance ministers forum and the increasing involvement of non-state actors (both civil society and business) with the G8. In the absence of a central G8 secretariat to pull together, disseminate and analyse the document output, there is a great need for making this source material known and available, and to assess it carefully and systematically. As well, there now exists an impressive corpus of analytical and descriptive work, along with personal recollections of major participants and, increasingly, material that is becoming accessible in the archives of member countries.The purpose of this volume is fourfold: it discusses the origins, characteristics, evolution, role and agenda of the G7 and G8 system, including a systematic survey of its components; introduces the major debates about the G7 and G8; looks at proposals to reform the G8-G20; and, provides a detailed study of the complex, elusive and changing patterns of documentation of the broader G8-G20 system, including electronic information. This follow on to The G7/G8 System by Hajnal is substantially modified and expanded. It's not just an update as it includes new material not covered in the previous book. University and governmental libraries, scholars and analysts will find this volume highly useful for their research.