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The G-20 as a Lever for Progress

Barry Carin and David Shorr
Policy Analysis Brief
February 2013

The measure of a multilateral process is its contribution to progress on the issues and challenges on the global agenda. As a practical matter, the crucial piece is the policy lever through which progress is achieved.

The relatively loose structure of the G-20 compared with traditional international organizations makes it especially well suited to provide injections of political impetus for policy problems.

Meanwhile, the failure of many observers to recognize the varied scale of the G-20’s efforts—from macroeconomic rebalancing to, say, ratification of the main anticorruption treaty—has made it harder for the G-20 to gain credit for the valuable role it can play.

Recent commentary over the G-20 cries out for a clearer understanding of how the body functions and what it has to offer.

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