Fortunately there are encouraging signs, the most important being the emergence of the G20 as a very successful forum for economic and financial dialogue and coordination. To their credit, the G20 countries are looking ahead and committing to drawing periodically on IMF analysis to assess the consistency of their policies. Whether the G20 members will be able to achieve sufficient policy collaboration and action remains to be seen, but the act of committing to a process is a crucial step forward.
The G20 is nevertheless still an exclusive group in which some 165 countries are not represented. This means that at some point effectiveness and legitimacy will need to be reconciled. At the IMF – which is itself struggling with these issues – this process has already begun, with major quota realignments and more transparent management selection procedures now at the top of the governance agenda.
If these efforts succeed, we will face the interesting prospect of thinking about completing the transition in global governance from the G7 to the G20 to the G186.