I’ll let you know when I’m through kicking around the G8

My latest Newsweek International column has some fun at the G8’s expense:  In the good old days, summit meetings were held in big cities—London, Tokyo, Venice, Toronto, Paris and so on. Ever since the 2001 meeting in Genoa, which attracted more than a quarter of a million protesters, the leaders of the Group of Eight ...

My latest Newsweek International column has some fun at the G8's expense:  In the good old days, summit meetings were held in big cities—London, Tokyo, Venice, Toronto, Paris and so on. Ever since the 2001 meeting in Genoa, which attracted more than a quarter of a million protesters, the leaders of the Group of Eight have held their yearly confabs in ever-more remote locations. When leaders met in the resort town of Heiligendamm, Germany, last year, only 25,000 protesters showed up. This year's meeting, in Toyako on Hokkaido Island, has so far drawn far fewer. The resort strategy appears to be working. Of course, there might be another reason why fewer protestors are bothering with this year's G8 summit: It matters less. It's not hard to see why. Half of the leaders involved—Gordon Brown, George W. Bush, Yasuo Fukuda and Nikolas Sarkozy—are deeply unpopular at home. Beyond these individuals, however, the G8 countries are simply less powerful than they used to be. At this rate, a philosophical question might be in the offing: What if the great powers held a summit and no one cared? Go check it out!

My latest Newsweek International column has some fun at the G8’s expense: 

In the good old days, summit meetings were held in big cities—London, Tokyo, Venice, Toronto, Paris and so on. Ever since the 2001 meeting in Genoa, which attracted more than a quarter of a million protesters, the leaders of the Group of Eight have held their yearly confabs in ever-more remote locations. When leaders met in the resort town of Heiligendamm, Germany, last year, only 25,000 protesters showed up. This year’s meeting, in Toyako on Hokkaido Island, has so far drawn far fewer. The resort strategy appears to be working. Of course, there might be another reason why fewer protestors are bothering with this year’s G8 summit: It matters less. It’s not hard to see why. Half of the leaders involved—Gordon Brown, George W. Bush, Yasuo Fukuda and Nikolas Sarkozy—are deeply unpopular at home. Beyond these individuals, however, the G8 countries are simply less powerful than they used to be. At this rate, a philosophical question might be in the offing: What if the great powers held a summit and no one cared?

Go check it out!

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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