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2010 Canada Summit Expanded Dialogue
Country Assessment:
Executive Summary

Augustine Kwok, Erin Fitzgerald and Netila Demneri with the G8 Research Group
June 27, 2010
Download the full report here

The G8 Research Group is the world‘s leading independent research institute on the G8 and has consistently provided onsite analysis of the performance of each G8 member state at the annual G8 leader‘s summit.

Since the 2005 Gleneagles Summit, however, the annual G8 meeting has also included discussions with the five leading emerging economies of the Outreach Five — commonly known as the Group of Five (G5). The members of the G5 (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa) have attended these summits with their own agendas and have worked alongside the G8 members to advance their own priorities. This is the second year that the G8 Research Group is assessing the performance of these states. The 2010 Expanded Dialogue (G5) Country Assessment Report analyzes and reports on the performance of G5 states at the 2010 Muskoka Summit.

In contrast to last year‘s operating procedures, this year Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to shift the focus of the G8 Summit on the discussion of the Muskoka Initiative. This resulted in pushing the expanded dialogue sessions with the G5 on the sidelines. In light of this development, this year‘s Expanded Dialogue Reports will be analyzing the G5 countries' achievement of their individual objectives for the G20 Toronto Summit instead.

In lieu of meeting with the G5, PM Harper has invited seven African leaders to participate in an outreach session: Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. Delegations from Colombia, Haiti and Jamaica will be attending as well, in order to discuss the issues of transnational crime and corruption.

As with the typical G8 Country Assessment Report, this report defines performance as the ability of a state to successfully pursue its priority objectives at a given summit and to shape the statements that emerge to reflect its own objectives. This report assesses performance by assigning scores to countries based on how well the statements and communiqués released by the G5 leaders correspond with the stated objectives of each of the G5 countries. The objectives of each member state were arranged in order of priority based on a rigorous review of government statements, speeches, and communiqués as well as domestic and international media coverage.

Country objectives were codified approximately three to four weeks prior to the beginning of the 2010 Toronto G20 Summit in order to capture a member state‘s priorities prior to entering into the so-called expectations management stage. During this phase of the lead-up to the summit, political rhetoric is adjusted in order to manage public expectations after concessions are made on priorities and issues during the pre-summit Sherpa and ministerial meetings.

At the summit, G5 countries are scored like their G8 counterparts, based on pre-established guidelines for evaluating the success or failure of a country to advance its priority objectives. If the statements and press releases emerging from the summit reflect a pre-identified priority objective of a given G8 country, that country receives a high score, as graded along a five point scale (which ranges from a core of 0 to 1). Scores for priority objectives are aggregated using a weighted formula and offer empirical insight into how well each of the G5 countries has performed at the summit. A country‘s aggregate score is calculated using a weighted average, in which the weight a particular objective receives is relative to 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.

Countries are scored on achieving their objectives, regardless of the forum in which they were pursued: the G8 Summit in Muskoka or the larger G20 Summit in Toronto. Given that the G5 countries have not been extended invitations to attend the G8 Summit, G5 partners may find it more difficult to promote their individual objectives due to the lack of an appropriate forum. Furthermore, G5 countries will not be able to interact with their G8 counterparts until the G20 Summit in Toronto, during which, their individual agenda preferences may be overshadowed by the aggregate demands of the G20 to focus on issues pertaining to the global economy. Given Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s insistence on delineating and dividing the Summits as such, G5 country achievements of their non-economic objectives must be viewed as all the more exemplary, given the lack of a focused forum through which discussion can be pursued.

This report was made possible through the dedicated efforts and commitment of four analysts from the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto. Their work offers a unique contribution to the study of the world‘s foremost emerging economies and their relationship with the G8.

Augustine Kwok
Director, Expanded Dialogue Studies Department
G8 Research Group 2009-2010

Research Team

Professor John Kirton, Director, G8 Research Group
Dr. Ella Kokotsis, Director of Analytical Research, G8 Research Group
Erin Fitzgerald, Chair, G8 Research Group
Netila Demneri, Chair, G8 Research Group
Jenilee Guebert, Senior Researcher, G8 Research Group
Augustine Kwok, Director, Expanded Dialogue Studies Department

Lead Analysts
Augustine Kwok
Farah Saleem
Hermonie Xie
Kenneth Lai


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