The case for the G8 reform
J.J. Kirton, professor, Director of the G8 Research Centre, University of Toronto (Transl. by J. Zaitsev, Eds. M. Larionova)
The paper deals with the current debate over the Group of Eight (G8) architecture reform, which are taking place in political, public and scholarly worlds. The case for the G8 reform the criticisms of its supposed loss of effectiveness and legitimacy, lack of broad geographic representativeness and commanding global power. According to J. Kirton, there are no reform proposals justified by logical and empirical analysis considering how they would fit with and influence complex G8 system. The author aims to fill in this gap. In the paper on the basis of G8’s 1975-2007 performance he analysis three important dimensions of the reform – “outreach”, “in-reach” and “down-reach”, the latter two not featuring in the debate, and how the changes could affect G8’s performance in the future. The first dimension – “outreach” – has long received most of attention in the G8 reform debate. It concerns a question of how many and what countries and international organizations should be invited to be a full permanent member or partial participant of the G8 summit. The second dimension of the reform debate – “in-reach” - is less deliberated and relates to thickening the structure of G8 by developing ministerial and official - level institutions across many policy fields. And the third dimension analyzed by the author – “down – reach” – deals with democratization of the G8 system by bringing a wide range of civil society sectors into the G8’s global governance. Author argues that G8 reform strategy for the future should be based only on the simultaneous consideration of all these three components.