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South African Institute for International Affairs Occasional Papers Series




The increased globalisation over the last 20 years has made effective global economic governance more important than ever. This period has witnessed the rise of a number of new international governance actors, such as the Group of Twenty (G-20) and the Financial Stability Board. The paper proposes a five-part test to evaluate how the existing global governance actors serve the interests of all stakeholders in the global economy.

The test is based on five factors indicating good global governance. These are the goals relating to global economic governance being followed by the governance entity, respect for applicable international legal principles, good administrative practice, comprehensive coverage of all relevant issues and all affected stakeholders, and coordinated specialization. The paper uses these five factors to develop a framework for assessing the responsiveness of the G-20 to African issues and concerns. The final part of the paper applies this framework to the documentary outputs of the seven G-20 summits held during 2008-2012 to assess their responsiveness to Africa. It looks at how the communiqués and other key documents from each of the summits address the issues arising from each part of the test and then makes an assessment of how well the G-20 has satisfied that part of the test over the course of the period from 2008-2012. The paper concludes that the G-20 is not fully satisfying any of the five parts of the test, and therefore fails to reach its full potential as a global economic governance actor.



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