1 in 20: The G20, middle powers and global governance reform

Stream: Panel 36 - International Relations: From Words to Deeds in Global Governance? 
Date: Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


There is a growing consensus that the international system needs to be reformed to reflect the changing distribution of power with the rise of the BRICs. The G20 has been at the centre of these discussions. Within the G20 emphasis has been on great powers or rising powers and their capacity to drive reform. Very little attention has been given to the preferences and strategies of middle powers in the G20 and their capacity to shape global governance reform. Drawing on interviews with G20 officials, this paper considers the role of Australia as president of the G20 in 2014. Australia’s presidency presents a unique opportunity to examine the behaviour of a middle power as it balances the competing global governance claims of the US and the BRICs.


Christian Downie (Presenter), UNSW
Christian Downie is a Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of New South Wales and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. Christian was previously a foreign policy advisor to the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. His first book, The Politics of Climate Change Negotiations, was published in 2014.