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Analytical and Compliance Studies
Civil Society and Expanded Dialogue Unit

G8 Research Group
Civil Society and Expanded Dialogue Unit
2006-2007 Research Projects

February 2007

The G8 Research Group Civil Society and Expanded Dialogue Unit conducts research and analysis on the G8's ongoing relationship with major external stakeholders including emerging economies and civil society. The group also publishes thematic reports on the G8's past and present involvement in issues that will be discussed at the upcoming summit.

In the 2006-2007 academic year, the CS-ED Unit will be working on four major reports: Political and Economic Developments in the "G5," a thematic report on the G8 and "Investment, Innovation, and Sustainability," a thematic report on the G8 and Africa, and Civil Society Organizing around the G8 and the G8 Presidency's Organizing around Civil Society. Additionally, the CS-ED unit is working on an online database of interviews featuring prominent intellectuals and organizers in civil society and the G8. All reports will be published in June 2006. This summary will provide an overview of the writing and analysis that has been completed thus far.

For more information on any of the reports, please contact:
André Ghione, G8RG CS-ED Co-Chair – andre.ghione@gmail.com
Joanna Dafoe, G8RG CS-ED Co-Chair – joanna.dafoe@gmail.com

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Expanded Dialogue Reports

Political and Economic Developments in the "G5"
Analysts: Justine Yi-Hsuan Chen, May Jeong, Hugues Létourneau, Miranda Lin and Tina Park

Since 2005, the CS-ED unit of the G8 Research Group has published assessments of the interrelationships between the G8 and those states colloquially termed the "G5" — Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. G8 initiatives increasingly require the active support of the G5, a fact the G8 has recognized by inviting their heads of state to recent summits. Our focus remains the same; indeed, recent developments have only confirmed the salience of the G5 in international affairs.

How has the G5 come to influence G8 decision-making and execution? This report charts important domestic developments in each country from the 2006 St. Petersburg to the 2007 Heiligendamm summits. All events are explained in terms with the state's conduct in international affairs: How will newly elected President Calderón of Mexico orient himself on the international stage? Will Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva begin his second term by initiating economic reforms deemed necessary for sustained growth? Does the Chinese government's recent courting of African states signal a new partner for development? What are the continuing impediments to the reduction of poverty in India, and how will these affect economic growth? Can the South African government provide a model for the treatment of HIV/AIDS for its neighbours to emulate?

Each question is germane to the priorities of the German presidency of the G8; each answer is crucial to forecasting the success of future initiatives. A sustainable global environment is impossible without the engagement of rapidly industrializing China and India; attention to the social dimension of globalization means improving investment conditions in Mexico and Brazil; and South African participation can facilitate necessary reforms on the African continent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has extended invitations to the governments of the G5 to attend the upcoming summit as "special guest observers." It remains to be seen whether their unique perspectives and proposals will be considered as the G8 again meets to discuss global issues requiring global solutions.

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Civil Society Reports

Thematic Report: G8 and Africa
Analysts: Sarah Yun and Sana Malik

Since the 2007 G8 Presidency has restored Africa as a priority issue, this report analyzes G8 compliance to commitments made towards Africa since Gleneagles. Using the 2005 CS-ED report on the G8 and Africa as the basis for our work, this report will analyze the extent to which G8 countries follow through on their commitments towards health, good governance, trade, debt, and security. The second portion of the report focuses on civil society preparations for Heiligendamm by tracking public responses to the G8 agenda from groups such as Oxfam, Action Aid, and the Global Coalition Against Poverty.

Thematic Report: G8 and "Investment, Innovation, and Sustainability"
Analyst: Jess Himmel

This report includes a brief history of the G8 in dealing with issues of "Investment, Innovation, and Sustainability" and analyzes the emerging policy statements of civil society groups that address this theme. Because the agenda item of "Investment, Innovation, and Sustainability" encompasses such a wide spectrum of economic and policy concerns for civil society groups, there will be a variety of issues addressed in this report including climate change, global trade, patent use, and sustainable resource use.

Civil Society Organizing and the G8
Analyst: Sarah Yun

This report will be divided into two sections. The first section examines the extensive organizing of civil society around the Heiligendamm Summit by identifying main trends and concerns of NGOs. The second section of the report looks at events being organized by the G8 presidency to include civil society. Following the Civil G8 at last year's summit, where over 2,000 NGOs collaborated on policy recommendations for G8 leaders, the question remains whether the German presidency is planning to foster the same inclusion and dialogue as last year's summit.

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Database

Analyst: James Nicholas Tay

The database is an initiative to centralize interviews, information, and reports that have accumulated over the past two years in the CS-ED unit. The majority of work on the database will focus on collecting interviews with key intellectuals and organizers in civil society and will eventually be published on the CS-ED website. Other initiatives as part of a CS-ED database include updating the website, consolidating information from the Live 8 and G8 Information Centre website, and working on making the CS-ED website more organized and navigable to users.

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This page was last updated February 21, 2007.

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