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Compliance with G8 Commitments:
Ascertaining the degree of compliance With Summit debt and international trade commitments
For Canada and the United States 1996-1999

Diana Juricevic
POL 495Y
Professor John J. Kirton
Department of Political Science
Centre for International Studies
University of Toronto

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Coding Manuel

A. Determining the Level of Ambition (Score = x/5)

How Far-Reaching Is the Commitment?

  1. Holding/Changing Status Quo
  2. Does the commitment maintain the status quo or change the status quo?

    1. Maintaining the Status Quo
    2. -continuing with an initiative launched in previous years

      i.e. "We will continue to…"

      "We reaffirm our commitment…"

      e.g. Cologne 1999 Debt Relief Commitment #1

      Score = 0

    3. Changing the Status Quo Passively
    4. -launching a new initiative through other international organizations

      i.e. "We invite institution A to improve the efficiency of issue x.."

      e.g. Lyon 1996 Trade Commitment #7

      Score = 1/2

    5. Changing the Status Quo Actively

    -launching a new initiative through the G7/8

    i.e. "We agree to improve the efficiency of issue x…"

    e.g. Cologne 1999 Debt Relief Commitment #2

    Score = 1

  3. General/Specific Measures
  4. Does the commitment contain specific measures by which to attain the targeted goal?

    1. General Measure
    2. -identifying the goal

      (explaining the what BUT NOT the how)

      i.e. "We agree to do x.."

      e.g. Cologne 1999 Trade Commitment #1

      Score = 0

    3. Specific Measure

    -identifying the goal AND the specific measures to attain that goal

    (explaining the what AND the how)

    i.e. "We agree to do x by a, b, c

    e.g. Cologne 1999 Debt Relief Commitment #3

    Score = 1



  5. Specific Measure + Specific Target Date
  6. Does the commitment contain a specific measure to be attained by a specific date?

    1. Specific Measure BUT no specific target date
    2. i.e. ….to embark on a process.

      Score = 0

    3. Specific Measure AND specific target date

    i.e. …to embark on a process by year x.

    e.g. Birmingham 1998 Debt Commitment #2

    Score = 1


  7. Using Existing/Creating New International Institutions
  8. Does the commitment use existing institutions or create new ones?

    1. Using Existing International Institutions
    2. i.e. WTO; UN;

      Score = 0

    3. Creating New International Institutions

    i.e. creating an international tribunal to deal with trade disputes.

    Score = 1

  9. Reference to Old/New Agenda
  10. Does the commitment refer to an old agenda item or a new agenda item?

    (Note that this depends on the context. For example, what was a new agenda item for Toronto 1988 is an old agenda item for Cologne 1999.)

    1. Reference to Old Agenda
    2. -referring to an issue that was addressed in previous summits

      Score = 0

    3. Reference to New Agenda

-referring to an issue that has not been addressed within the past five summits.

Score = 1

B. Determining The Level of Significance (Score = x/10)

How significant is the commitment?

  1. Ambition (score = x/5)
    1. 1/5 on Ambition Test: Score = 1
    2. 2/5 on Ambition Test: Score = 2
    3. 3/5 on Ambition Test: Score = 3
    4. 4/5 on Ambition Test: Score = 4
    5. 5/5 on Ambition Test: Score = 5
  2. Novelty (score = x/2)
    1. Changing the Status Quo Actively or Passively: Score = 1
    2. Referring to a New Agenda issue: Score = 1
    3. Both (i) AND (ii): Score = 2
    4. None of the Above: Score = 0

    **In order to determine whether (i) and (ii) are satisfied, it is sufficient to refer to the Status Quo category and the Agenda category on the ambition test.


  3. Timeliness (score = x/1)
    1. Timely Commitment = responding to a current crisis or taking measures to prevent a future crisis: score = 1
    2. Untimely Commitment: score = 0
  4. Scope (score = x/2)
    1. Addresses only G8 countries: score = 0
    2. Reference to one region (e.g. Africa): score = 1
    3. Reference to more than one continent (i.e. via global institutions): score = 2


C. Determining the Level of Compliance

Having identified the major commitments, ranked them according to their level of ambition and subsequently according to their level of significance, the next task is to measure commitment compliance. A commitment is fully complied with if a Summit member succeeds in achieving the specified goal set out in the commitment. Since there can be varying degrees of compliance, it is useful to assess commitment compliance according to a five-point scale.

  1. Official Reaffirmation
  2. To begin with, there ought to be an official reaffirmation of the commitment. The government ought to demonstrate its intention to honour a Summit commitment by publicly stating its plans to incorporate the commitment in its national agenda. This can be done either in an international or national context through:

    (i) internal policy debates

    (ii) speeches or

    (iii) press releases.

    This is an important first step because it indicates that government officials are still intent on honouring their summit obligation.




  3. Internal Bureaucratic Review
  4. The second stage is an internal bureaucratic review and representation. A National government internally reviews the Summit commitment through various means:

    (i) a formal policy review

    (ii) process of public consultation or

    (iii) formation of a task force.

    It is best if such a bureaucratic review is conducted at the executive level of government, although evidence of such activity at the legislative level will suffice because it still indicates that government personnel are studying and attempting to implement the commitment.

  5. Budgetary and Resource Allocations are made
  6. The third stage of measuring compliance occurs when budgetary and resource allocations are made or changed. For this stage to be fulfilled, there must be evidence that a national government has allocated its own money for the purposes of achieving the commitment. This government money or other resources could be further allocated to international organizations. Evidence of this is usually found in press releases or briefings.

  7. New/Altered programs are initiated
  8. The fourth stage of compliance occurs when broader changes are made in fiscal and monetary policy. These include:

    (i) introducing new programs for the implementation of the Summit commitment (ii) altering existing programs

    (iii) making recommendations for increased research and development projects or

    (iv) changing international negotiating positions

  9. Full Implementation

Finally, full compliance is attained once the commitment goal has been substantially achieved.

In order to quantify these analytic results, it is necessary to follow the methodology developed by Ella Kokotsis and John Kirton in their paper, National Compliance with Environmental Regimes: The Case of the G7, 1988-1995. A three-level measurement process is employed to assess compliance.

  1. Complete/Near Complete Failure of implementation (score = -1)
  2. This occurs when at most the first stage of compliance is completed.

    There is an official reaffirmation of the commitment but no evidence of a bureaucratic review, budgetary allocation, or implementation of new/altered programs.

  3. Partial implementation (score = 0)
  4. There are two main situations which give rise to a partially implemented commitment:

    (i) "Inability to Commit" situation

    This refers to factors outside the executive branch impeding the implementation of a given commitment. For example, it may be the case that the President has asked Congress to support a bill that would allocate a significant amount of money to finance development initiatives in Sub Saharan Africa. If Congress strikes down the bill then clearly no budgetary allocation has been made. This example would not constitute a failed attempt at implementation, however, because a recognizable attempt has been made to allocate money, and forces outside the President's control impeded this budgetary initiative.

    (iii) "Work in Progress" situation

    This refers to an initiative that has been launched by a government but is not yet near completion and whose results cannot therefore be properly assessed. To be considered a 'work in progress,' there must be evidence that an issue is being discussed, debated, reaffirmed, or reviewed in the post summit period. Hence, in this situation, there ought to be evidence of an official reaffirmation and internal bureaucratic review.

  5. Full/Nearly Full implementation (score = +1)
  6. This occurs when at least the last three criteria have been satisfied:

    1. there were budgetary funds allocated to implement the commitment
    2. the government introduced or altered programs, and
    3. the welfare target was substantially achieved.

It should be noted, however, that even if (ii) and (iii) are not satisfied, evidence of a budgetary allocation almost always receives a score of +1 because it is one of the strongest indicators that progress is being made in the implementation of a given commitment.


D. Coding Rule For Separating Commitments

Here is just a footnote about identifying commitments. You may come across the following situation:

    1. Broad Commitment
      1. Specific commitment
      2. Specific commitment
      3. Specific commitment

If (i), (ii), (iii) taken together are used to attain a specified goal then there is only ONE broad commitment. (i.e. (i), (ii), (iii) are used to attain ONE goal.)

If (i), (ii), (iii) taken together are not used to attain a specified goal then you can separate the broad commitment into THREE smaller commitments. (i.e. (i), (ii), (iii) each have DIFFERENT goals.)

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