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In this session the teaching assistants (TAs) examine why the G8 is worth studying. They reflect on whether it is an effective organ of global governance, especially when compared with other international actors. The TAs address issues such as the G8's economic and political influence, and its interaction with the powerful forces of globalization.
Oana, Matt and Denisse challenge the wealthy industrialized power composition of the G8. They compare the G8 with other bodies, such as the United Nations, that are often hampered by their large, yet more representative, memberships. They also discuss whether the G8 member states' self-interests dictate their policy decisions and if the G8 is most effective when cooperating or competing with other international organizations.
The TAs note that globalization has aided in the G8's expansion beyond its initial realm of economics and into the expanding arenas of high and low politics. In addition, the trend towards a rapidly integrated world, the TAs argue, forces the industrialized powers to accommodate the developing states and furthers the necessary inclusiveness that the G8 requires to function as an effective tool for global governance.
Finally, the discussion turns towards the various international theoretical perspectives-ranging from realism, liberal institutionalism, constructivism, to the false new consensus model-and their respective interpretations of the G8's effectiveness. The TA's then conclude by touching on the G8's relationship with civil society and the role that international citizens play, whether in opposition to globalization or as "watchdogs" of the international system.