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This book analyzes the Group of Twenty (G20) since the 2008 financial crisis. The latter event undermined conventional wisdom and governance norms, constituting a more contested international economic regime. G20 leaders sought a cooperative response to the 2008 crisis through the forum, aware of their interdependence and the growing economic importance of key developing states. They agreed to new norms of financial governance based on macroprudential regulation, the Basel III Accords, and enhanced multilateral cooperation. They prioritized G20 cooperation for achieving international economic stability and growth. Differences exist over causes and effects of the crisis, including on the merits of economic austerity or fiscal stimulus strategies; on responsibility for and solutions to international economic imbalances; and concerns about monetary policies and “currency wars”. Despite claims from skeptics that G20 cooperation is declining, this book argues its importance for international relations and as a hub of global governance networks.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction: G20 Since the Global Crisis

Abstract
This chapter outlines the book’s analytical focus on the Group of Twenty (G20) since the global financial crisis (GFC). It introduces the analytical approach, which combines insights from constructivism, liberalism, realism, and other approaches to international relations. It reviews academic literature on the G20 and GFC to help contextualize my analysis, and then it summarizes the focus of each chapter. The issues discussed in each part of the book are interlinked: the GFC effects on global governance and international relations, the focus of the first part, influences the G20 relations and policy dynamics, the focus of the second; the third part analyzes future prospects for this GFC-influenced G20 cooperation despite its members’ strategic tensions and political differences.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 2. Strategic Economic Effects of the GFC

Abstract
This chapter focuses mainly on the international strategic economic effects of the GFC rather than on its causes. It analyzes how strategic effects of the GFC affected the capacity of political actors to influence international relations. Research of strategic economic relations in combination with ideational, normative, and socialization analyzes international strategic consequences of the GFC, especially due to material economic and political effects. This includes a focus on economic interdependence, an important aspect of international relations effects of the GFC which is crucial for understanding the contemporary importance of the G20. The leverage of national governments, in the G20 and international relations more broadly, is affected by the consequences of these factors in international and domestic politics.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 3. Ideational and Normative Effects of the GFC

Abstract
This chapter focuses on ideational and normative effects of the GFC. It makes an important theoretical contribution to the book, arguing that the GFC had enduring ideational and normative consequences for economic governance and international relations. The GFC significantly undermined conventional wisdom on economic policymaking, especially erstwhile confidence in the rational expectations model and efficient markets hypothesis from neoclassical economics, thereby reducing confidence in microprudential financial regulation and thus making possible a new global governance conventional wisdom of macroprudential financial regulation. It increased normative contestation about global and domestic economic governance, a key ideational crisis effect on G20 policy actors and others. GFC normative effects hastened the inclusion of G20 developing states in most key multilateral fora of international financial governance, decreased the cognitive authority of officials from leading industrialized states, and led to the creation of the G20 Leader forum.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 4. International Focus on the G20

Abstract
The chapter examines how the G20 reflects the new international context since the GFC. It shows the forum achieved substantial cooperation as a crisis committee during 2008–2009, and then transformed into a steering committee for the international economy. This political significance reflected the importance of its membership for the international economy. It enabled US President George W. Bush to frame the international GFC agenda, despite claims that the US influence was declining. Bush initiated the G20 role as the main forum for multilateral economic cooperation, inviting G20 leaders to attend a summit meeting on the crisis in Washington, DC, in November 2008. The G20 gained political momentum as the preferred focus for members’ cooperation during the GFC, marginalizing alternatives such as the UN, while integrating the IMF and others within its own policy agenda as a global governance hub. The G20 reflects the growth of selective, informal inter-regional cooperation in recent years. The forum’s engagement with non-member states, IOs, and civil society groups augmented its capacities as a hub of global governance networks.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 5. G20 Hub for Global Governance

Abstract
This chapter analyzes the G20 as a hub of global governance. It examines how the forum achieved this influence in global governance and international relations, especially as a consequence of its strategic, political, and ‘cognitive’ authority, the latter indicating the extent of international deference to its intellectual or policy claims. This authoritativeness was achievable due to the forum’s role as a global governance hub, with access to material, political, organizational, and intellectual resources of its members, leading IOs, and various interlocutors. This capacity to marshal international resources makes the G20 capable “of policy diffusion that drive[s] normative change” (Broome and Seabrooke 2015, 1), across several key issue areas, though with varying success.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 6. G20 Significance for Members and Non-members

Abstract
This chapter evaluates the significance of the G20 for members and non-members. It provides historical context with a brief history of the G-forums, a new form of informal relations initiated by the US government in the 1970s, to facilitate cooperation between relatively like-minded policymakers from key states. The G20 maintains aspects of this heritage, such as inclusion of strategically important states of the international economy, its consensual approach to negotiations, and opportunities for informal, interpersonal interactions between member officials and leaders. This chapter also evaluates whether the forum constitutes a ‘club’, ‘hub’, or ‘network’ for twenty-first-century global governance. I argue the G20 is a looser club than the G7, based on shared interests rather than broad normative congruence on political and economic issues.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 7. China–US Economic Cooperation as Antidote to Strategic Conflict

Abstract
Relations between the US and Chinese governments are crucially relevant to G20 cooperation. They are the two largest national economies in the world with the most important bilateral economic ties, and therefore prospects for cooperation or strategic confrontation between them are vital for the forum and broader international relations.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 8. Strategic Competition Probably Won’t Prevent G20 Cooperation

Abstract
The chapter analyzes whether strategic competition between G20 members as a whole, or external conflict, could prevent their cooperation in future. Importantly for the book, it evaluates theoretical debate on international competition and cooperation, applying these insights to the G20. The core focus is constructivist, liberal, and realist arguments about this aspect of international relations. It also analyzes rationalist and interpretive arguments and considers the significance of different levels of analysis. The chapter also examines the risks of conflicts increasing over existing strategic tensions between G20 members. This cannot be discounted, but neither does existing evidence indicate such heightened conflicts to be inevitable. Unprecedented levels of economic cooperation have been achieved between G20 members since the GFC despite the existence of such tensions.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Chapter 9. Conclusion: G20 Importance for International Politics

Abstract
G20 cooperation of 2008–2009 had a greater sense of urgency, but its subsequent role as a steering committee and global governance hub has been important—built on an increasingly complex policy agenda, integrating an expanding group of international policy actors. Strategic, ideational, and normative effects of the GFC provoked the international focus on G20 cooperation despite political differences between some of its members. It is questionable whether the G20 Leader forum would have existed without the crisis. Its summits have not always produced impressive results, though the policy agenda has become diverse and complex, with some significant achievements. The wide range of issue areas, combined with the authoritativeness of the forum and its capacity to utilize substantial international financial, organizational, intellectual, and political resources, has made the G20 central to many aspects of post-GFC global governance.
Jonathan Luckhurst

Backmatter

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