Toward Effective Multilateralism: Why Bigger May Not Be Better

Thomas Wright
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
July 2009
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The past eight years have been a period of retreat and revival for multilateralism. Retreat in the face of the most concerted unilateralist strategy undertaken by a U.S. administration in half a century, and revival because, during the Bush administration's second term, there was an emerging political consensus that multilateralism was a critical element of U.S. power. Revival, however, promised not simply restoring multilateral institutions in U.S. strategy, but reforming or even replacing those institutions themselves. The ongoing financial crisis_with the Group of 20 (G-20), including leaders from Argentina, China, India, and South Africa, among others, taking on a leading role_has merely been the latest sign that greater multilateral cooperation is both necessary and difficult.
Political Geography
United States, China, India, South Africa, Argentina