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2010 Muskoka G8 Summit Country Assessment:
Executive Summary

Erin Fitzgerald, Netila Demneri and the G8 Research Group
June 26, 2010
Download the full report here

The G8 Research Group, the world's leading independent research institute on the G8, provides onsite analysis of the performance of each G8 member country at the annual G8 leaders' summit. This analysis is presented in the G8 Country Assessment Report, which is released annually at the close of the G8 summit.

Definitions and Methodology

Approximately one month prior to the summit, a team of more than twenty analysts identified priority objectives for each G8 member. This timeline was established in order to capture a member country's priorities before entering into the "expectations management" phase, at which time political rhetoric is adjusted in order to manage public expectations once concessions are made at sherpa meetings and ministerials.

For the purposes of this report, performance is defined as the ability of a state to successfully pursue its priority objectives at a given summit and to steer the statements that emerge from the G8 to reflect said objectives. The objectives of each member country are ranked and weighted in priority sequence following a rigorous review of government statements, communiqués, and speeches, as well as domestic and international media coverage. At the summit, G8 countries are scored based on pre-established interpretative guidelines for evaluating the success or failure of a country in advancing its priority objectives. The score is based on how well the communiqués that are released by the G8 at the annual leaders? summit reflect the stated objectives of each of the G8 countries.

If the statements and communiqués emerging from the summit reflect a pre-identified priority objective of a given G8 country, that country receives a high score for the objective. Scores for priority objectives are aggregated using a weighted formula and offer empirical insight into how well each G8 country has performed at the summit. Scores are then compared with historical data collected by the G8 Research Group since 1996 in order to assess how well each country has performed relative to historical precedent.

A country's aggregate score is calculated using a weighted average, in which the weight a particular objective receives is determined by its ranking in the sequential priority ordering. These weights were developed with a quadratic function, allowing us to assign decreasing weights to each objective while ensuring that the difference between each weight increases as priorities descend. By this methodology, a country?s most important objectives will have the greatest impact on its aggregate score.

The Overall Final Performance Score

The results of the G8 Research Group's assessments indicate that, for the 2010 Muskoka G8 Summit, the G8 member states received an average performance score of 0.624. The average final score is on par with previous year's.

Performance by Member

G8 members' rankings are roughly in line with past reports. The United States has maintained its traditional first place, while Japan has risen to second. Canada, the host of the Summit, ranked third. Canada received high marks for its maternal and child health initiative, regional security, and the economic issues discussed at the G8 Summit, but was scored low for climate change, which received very little attention in the communiqué. Italy achieved its best performance since the inauguration of these reports, ranking fourth. France and the United Kingdom came in fifth and sixth, respectively. Russia ranked seventh. Germany, ranked last, a particularly poor result given its historical strong performance. These results are detailed in Table 1 of this executive summary.

Table 1: Performance Scores by G8 Country







United Kingdom

United States












This report is made possible by the commitment of Netila Demneri, the vice-chair of the group, and our team of dedicated analysts from the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto. Their collective efforts have resulted in a significant contribution to the study of the G8 and global governance. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Cliff Vanderlinden, the 2007-8 chair, whose work served as the foundation of this project.

Erin Fitzgerald
Chair, G8 Research Group 2009-10

Research Team

Professor John Kirton, Director, G8 Research Group
Erin Fitzgerald, Chair, G8 Research Group
Netila Demneri, Vice-Chair, G8 Research Group

Katie Andrews
Natalie Antonowicz
Hana Bokshi
Nikki Cargill
Adrienne Davidson
Meara Deutsch-Goulet
Sarah Ellis
Shiva Logarajah
Egor Ouzikov
Lauren Perruzza
Sam Plett
Sabina Voicu


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