The Group of Twenty: Origins, Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance

At the height of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008–09, the Group of Twenty was elevated to country leaders’ level and acknowledged itself as the “premier forum for … international economic cooperation.”

This self-acknowledgment reflected the long-felt need to institutionalize the dialogue between the advanced and emerging economies in a more effective setting. However, the ad hoc nature of the G-20 and the extent to which an informal and self-selected club of nations can provide a stable framework for facilitating global cooperation has been questioned.

Against this backdrop, the study traces the G-20’s historical evolution, situates the dynamics of its institutional arrangements, and reviews the emerging literature on G-20 reform. Building on this analysis, the study then assesses the expansion of the G-20’s scope to global development and appraises the Group’s evolution in the broader context of the current global governance framework.