Is G-20 bulletproof?

Over on The Multialateralist at Foreign Policy Magazine, David Bosco asks whether the G-20 is hard to protest:

But there’s a critical difference of course. Those protesting the G -7 and G-8 could plausibly claim to be railing against an elite and unrepresentative club taking decisions that affected the world as a whole. Ditto for the IMF and World Bank, where large voting shares afford the United States and the European countries an effective veto over the activities of both organizations.

In theory, the G-20 should be a harder target. Its members account for about 90 percent of the world’s gross national product and more than two-thirds of its population. It includes major developing economies such as India, Brazil, China and Mexico. Internally, the G-20 tries to operate by consensus and gives its most powerful members no special voting rights.

Without making a value judgement on whether the G-20 or the aforementioned organizations deserve protest or not, I’d argue that it is not necessarily so hard to imagine. Think of the planners in William Easterley’s White Man’s Burden, or the ‘electronic herd’ in Paul Blustein’s The Chastening.  Such characterizations of global financial players would apply equally to emerging powers like Brazil and Mexico. A global sentiment similar to the Occupy Wall Street movement if you will, in which nationality is not so much the problem, but an unaccountable elite.



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