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Assessing the Role of G7/8/20 Meetings in Global Governance

G7/8/20 summits are often accused of many ills: club of the rich, producers of pointless communiqués, unduly gigantic gatherings, over-prepared meetings and media-show events – in a word, useless. This chapter argues for a more qualified assessment of their added value to global governance. This chapter assesses multilateral summitry along three lines, examining respectively the process (the G7 as a diplomatic instrument), the outcome (what agreements G7s actually reached) and the counterfactual (what if the G7 did not exist?).