Photo: Future of Globalisation

The section Future of Globalisation in this blog provides a platform for debates on current world economic issues, global power shifts and views on the roles of formal and informal global governance institutions. It is an initiative of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). The blog posts, appearing on every first and third Wednesday each month, are written by researchers from DIE and our international partners, amongst them numerous prestigious think tanks from rising powers. While aiming at cutting-edge research content, the blog intends to reach a broader audience of researchers, government officials and journalists. With this blog we carry on discussions that had initially been launched in 2016 as part of the Think20 process during the German G20 presidency. In 2018, we aim at continuing the debate about the role of the G20 broadening the focus of discussion to institutional and thematic matters of global economic governance.

The G20 after the Buenos Aires Summit: It’s still relevant!

Photo: G20 Argentina Group

The assessments of global summits seem to be measured by new minimum standards, given the current state of international cooperation: The G20 concluded its summit in Buenos Aires on 1 December 2019 without any significant ruptures and with a joint declaration. This outcome was all but self-evident, after President Trump withdrew his consent to the communiqué of the last G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada, via Twitter while flying back to Washington. And at the recent APEC summit, the US and China clashed over trade issues and the meeting ended without a joint declaration – usually a diplomatic given. The recent intensification of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine as well as the international outcry against the killing of the Saudi government’s critic Jamal Khashoggi added to the challenges. G20 summitry watchers were therefore all but certain that the Buenos Aires summit could be concluded in an orderly fashion. It is a success for the Argentinian host that it did despite all the headwind.

International Economic Cooperation in Troubled Times: A Call for Strong Action by the G20


The leaders of the G20 will meet on 30 November and 1 December in Buenos Aires for their annual summit. They need to acknowledge that the last two years have been characterized by strong headwinds for the world economy. This time, however, it is not a mixture of poor macroeconomic policies and bad business decisions – as in 2008 when they met in Washington for their first summit – that endangers the well-being of billions of citizens around the globe. This time the threat stems from deliberate political decisions, in particular on trade.

The G20 @ 10 conference: Assessing the benefits, limitations and the future of global club governance in turbulent times

Photp: G20 Conference GroupIn Buenos Aires on 30 November and 1 December 2018, the G20 is having its 10th anniversary as a summit format at the leaders’ level. On 14 and 15 November 2008, this previously-obscure group of finance ministers and central bankers of the nineteen most “systemically relevant” countries and the EU was transformed into a forum for international leaders to meet with a view into the abyss of the global financial crisis that originated in the US and spread fast across the world. Ten years and 12 leaders’ summits later, the G20 has moved beyond its 2008-09 role as a crisis-management forum and became the self-described “premier forum for […] international economic cooperation.” In this capacity it is now facing new demands to tackle global challenges such as climate change, digitalization and pandemics. As its agenda has expanded and the urgency of the crisis fades, the G20 faces questions regarding its relationship to other formal institutions of global governance, such as the United Nations, its effectiveness in dealing with global challenges as well as its legitimacy and accountability vis-à-vis its people and the 174 non-members.

The possibility of global economic governance in a period of great power rivalry

A structural shift is underway, running much deeper than the so-called trade wars that have been triggered by the US administration. Evidence of this trend starts to abound. In the past months, measures have been taken in places such as the US and the EU which will discourage the inflow of certain foreign investments, global companies have been induced to restructure their supply chains following geopolitical considerations and an increasing number of countries have been dismissing infrastructure projects with foreign funding.

Digitalisation and exponential technological Change: Challenges and Opportunities

Photo: Digital WorldThe word digitalisation is on its way to become a buzzword that is not only used by techies but also by development professionals around the world.  Just two years ago, in 2016, the World Bank devoted the World Development Report (WDR) to Digital Dividends, referring to the distribution of digitalisation benefits to a broader population. The WDR suggested inclusion, efficiency, and innovation as the main mechanisms through which digital technologies can promote development.