The G8/G7 System and Global Governance
Kirton John James- PhD in International Studies, Professor, Director of the G8 Research Centre of the University of Toronto (Canada)
This paper explores the G8’s core character, mission, capabilities and governance, and assesses on this basis how changes in outreach, in-reach and down-reach have enhanced performance in the past and could in the years ahead. It finds that since its 1975 start, the G8 as a modern democratic concert has increasingly met its central goal of producing a global democratic revolution and providing domestic political management, deliberation, direction-setting, decision making, delivery and the development of a new generation of global governance for itself and the world. During this time the G8 has maintained its globally predominant capabilities, largely because it has broadened enormously in outreach, embracing Japan, Italy, Canada, an EU expanding to 27 states and Russia as full members, and a wide array of multilateral organizations and rising or regional powers as participants in its annual summit and institutions below. It has thickened its own structure through in-reach by developing a dozen ministerial and over 80 official-level institutions across many policy fields, if not yet ministerial forums for health, agriculture, industry, investment and defence.