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. In this blog, the authors of the contributions represent only their personal opinion. 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 year ahead in 2019 – Think local when acting globally

Photo: Bridge and GlasballFor 2019, the global challenges are unlikely to become fewer than in 2018, based on the past experiences. The post-cold war international order as we knew it has taken a few blows again in 2018. Some key pillars and narratives are being shifted and challenge the stability of the international architecture. As often with foreign relations, it takes place in a context that consists of both global challenges and domestic priorities. Indicators for change will thus be located in domestic politics of some key countries. Without wanting to sound overly optimistic for a surely difficult year to come, some elements for a change are visible.

Prospects and Possibilities for Japan’s 2019 G20 Osaka Summit

Picture: Osaka SkylineWe hosted a one-day international conference at Soka University in Tokyo on December 10, 2018, on the theme “Prospects and Possibilities for Japan’s 2019 G20 Osaka Summit.” This was held shortly after the inauguration of the Japanese Presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20), which will be compressed by holding an early summit, on 28-29 June 2019. Conference participants stressed their doubts about the capacities of the G20 to meet contemporary global governance challenges, especially due to failures to implement previous summit commitments and the growing tensions between members. They emphasized the important role of stakeholders in holding the G20 to account, by focusing on policy compliance and implementation.

The G20 after Buenos Aires: Continuity and discontinuity

Photo: G20 LogoPositive comments on the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, held on 30 November and 1 December 2018, mostly point to the instances where leaders have reaffirmed positions taken in earlier meetings. But critics underline how little, in their view, this summit has added in substance. They obviously use different standards. This piece takes a systematic look at the roles of continuity and discontinuity in the G20 process, as it presents itself after Buenos Aires. It tries to explain why there is demand for continuity in the G20’s work and describes circumstances under which continuity might still break down.

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.