The G20 was established to provide an informal forum for ad hoc coordination and action among lead economies on financial policy and other concerns. It offered the flexibility other fora could not provide at the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008.
But how representative, accountable and effective is the G20? And how does it influence the position of existing international institutions for macro-economic and financial policies, including the IMF and World Bank?
This paper argues that the G20 proved a good tool for immediate crisis management in the wake of the economic crisis, but its longevity and future role in the system of international finance are currently unclear. The model of the G20 is attractive for overcoming shortcomings of the traditional multilateral bodies that work at a much slower pace and are often less able to decide forcefully. However, often a need arises to bring decisions back into the traditional system so as to ensure their legal character and universal reach.
This paper is part of a project on the legitimacy of transnational governance, jointly carried out by Clingendael and The Hague Institute for Global Justice in 2012-2014.