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Chapter Summary

The Group of eight (G8) brings together the heads of government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States in an annual economic and political forum, with the participation of the European Union. The G8 is not an organization; it is an informal grouping whose year-round deliberations culminate in a high-profile annual summit. The member who holds the rotating presidency provides funding for the annual summit and all other G8 meetings. Since the mid-1980s, several models have been put forward that attempt to explain the role of the G8 in transnational governance. In 1984, William Wallace proposed the 'Concert Equality' model, drawing on similarities between the Group and the Concert of Europe in the 19th century. There have been widespread calls for reform of the G8 since the early 1990s due to a growing dissatisfaction with its structural, operational, representative, and agenda-setting characteristics.

Keywords: European union; Group of eight (G8) meetings; transnational economic governance



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