The G20 chair and the case of the global economic steering committee

Larry Crump, Christian Downie

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Global and regional summits occur regularly, yet we know little about the factors supporting an effective summit. This article reviews knowledge about the chair, agenda building and prenegotiation preparation within an institutionalised régime, and then turns to our venue, the G20, and our specific case, the 2014 G20 Australian presidency. Through case analysis, we develop a Prenegotiation Framework, identifying tasks and key issues that are usefully addressed during summit preparation. Furthermore, we identify a linked relationship between the chair, their management of prenegotiation planning, the agenda that is adopted and the way in which that agenda determines public perception of the fundamental nature or “identity” of a particular international organisation. Thus, the prenegotiation process can have significant consequences for our understanding of those institutions engaged in global governance. We conclude that data no longer support a characterisation of the G20 as a global crisis committee, as an analysis of G20 Summit agendas demonstrates that it has evolved into a global steering committee. With its identity established, the effectiveness of the G20 as a global steering committee is the key question, while régime continuity and change constitute the real long-term G20 challenge.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-46
    Number of pages24
    JournalGlobal Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


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