Alumni Senior Fellow

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel:  +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: cooper@spam or andrew.cooper@spam


Professor Andrew Cooper joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Senior Fellow. He conducted his research in Research Unit 1 “The (Im)Possibility of Cooperation” from January to April 2014.

Research Project at the Centre

The Rise of Informal Summitry with special reference to the G20 and the BRICS: Implications for Global Governance

During my stay at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research I want to study the rise of informal summitry, that is to say forums that are self-selective, lacking charters or constitutions, and without fixed meeting times, physical sites and secretariats. Lacking elements of legitimacy traditionally associated with International Organizations (IOs), above all the United Nations, the ascendancy of informal summitry as a means of building global cooperation is driven by a desire for collective problem-solving under stressful conditions (albeit combined with status-seeking, and in some cases at least a sense of solidarity or like-mindedness). At the same time the scope of informal summitry has expanded substantially in terms of both composition of membership and elements of policy depth. The classic model of informal summitry has been the G7/8. Yet, paradoxically, at odds with the rise of other elements of informal summitry the G7/8 has lost its position as the hub forum of global governance. The financial crisis of 2008 triggered a double-movement through on one hand the appearance of a re-configured concert of powers in the form of the G20, and on the other hand the establishment of alternative potentially competitive but connected groupings. The most important of these is the BRICS (although there are also signs that a MIKTA group composed of G20 middle state is coming into being as well).

My original intention was to examine the phenomenon of informal summitry from the targeted perspective of national leaders. As informal processes, there is a spectacle to the leaders’ participation that is unique (the dinner on the eve of the summit, “family” pictures, the particular body language among different leaders related to close contact, the choice or non-choice of bilateral meetings, the nature of press conferences).  What do these images say about the mixture of status seeking and/or solidarity and like-mindedness? More substantially, does the level of commitment to collective problem solving by leaders fall off over time? Do leaders focus on common deliverables or on their own national priorities? Do they prefer to talk about global policy issues in a more comprehensive vein (Syria etc?) as opposed to focusing exclusively on financial issues? In other words, do they show signs of acting as a steering body, a crisis committee, or as national political leaders catering to particular domestic constituencies and localistic political demands.

Although the themes attached to leadership issues are still very much in need of exploration, I am increasingly convinced that they are not sufficient for teasing out the key ingredients of informal summitry. I aim to expand the scope of my study to factor in a number of other considerations. One theme that I would like to explore is the relationship between leadership and technical capacity. Although the rise of informal summitry is associated with concert-like “club” diplomacy of leaders, the phenomenon also can be connected with the privileging of a not entirely new, but far more expanded, diversified and visible network of technocrats. 

Unraveling the details of the evolution in informal summitry is crucial for understanding the overall trajectory of global governance. Instead of being viewed exclusively as a hub forum, the G20 is better analyzed as a networked focal point. The logic of such an interpretation can be gauged by the connection of the BRICS (as well as the G7/8) to the G20.  Although quite different in motivations, format and projections, in a variety of ways the BRICS revolves around the G20.
Still, if the G20 retains some centrality in commitment of resources and timing of meetings, any sense of the existence of a new set hierarchy should be strongly contested. What is on display is the presence of a different type of horizontal connection. As the role of the G20 shape-shifts from a concert to a focal node, with greater organizational fragmentation, the significance of the BRICS will be amplified. The key to global cooperation in the future, then, will be increasingly animated by the form of engagement developed between two sides of the same coin in terms of the dynamic of informal summitry.

Research Interests

  • The Shifting Global Hierarchy and Adaptive Forms of Global and Regional Governance
  • Informal Hub and Focal Point Institutions with an Emphasis on the G20 and the BRICS Summit Processes
  • Marginalisation and Resilience of Middle and Small States
  • Conventional and Unconvential Diplomacy
  • Individual National and Transnational Change- Agents and Norm Entrepreneurs

Current Projects

  • Do More Leaders' Summits Enhance Cooperation or Tension?
  • The Proliferating Institutionalisation of Regions: Bridge or Divide?
  • Diplomatic After Life - Former Leaders and International Affairs: Out of Office Engagement
  • Foreign Policy Strategies of Emerging Powers in a Multipolar World
  • The Panorama of Celebrity Activism


Since 04/2012 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society
Adjunct Professor
Since 09/2011 University of Waterloo, Canada
Balsillie School of International Affairs
04/2010-12/2012 The Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada
Distinguished Fellow
01/2009-05/2009 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Center on Public Diplomacy
Canada-US Fulbright Research Chair
01/2000-04/2000 Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Canada-US Fulbright Scholar
07/1997-08/1997 Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Department of Political Science
Visiting Professor
Since 07/1994 University of Waterloo, Canada
Department of Political Science
09/1993-07/1994 Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada
Planning Staff
Léger Fellow
09/1986-06/1987 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Center for International Affairs
Visiting Scholar

Selected Publications

Cooper, Andrew, Heine, Jorgem, and Thakur, Ramesh (eds.) (2013): Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Cooper, Andrew (with Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur) (2013): Introduction: The Callenges of 21st Diplomacy, in Andrew Cooper, Jorge Heine, and Ramesh Thakur (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1–35

Cooper, Andrew (2013): The Changing Nature of Diplomacy, in Andrew Cooper, Jorge Heine, and Ramesh Thakur (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 35–53.

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2013): Africa's Health Challenges: Sovereignty, Mobility of People and Healthcare Governance, Ashgate

Cooper, Andrew and Shaw, Timothy M. (2013): The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Cooper, Andrew and Shaw, Timothy M. (eds.) (2013): Small States in a World of Crisis and Divergence: More/Less Vulnerability and Resilience, in A. Cooper and T. M. Shaw (eds.), The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1–18.

Cooper, Andrew and Farooq, Asif (2013): BRICS and the Privileging of Informality, Global Policy Journal 4 (4) November: 428–33.

Cooper, Andrew (2013): Squeezed or revitalized? Middle Powers, The G20 and the evolution of global governance, Special Issue of Third World Quarterly, 'Foreign Policy Strategies Of Emerging Powers in a Multipolar World' 34 (6): 963–84.

Cooper, Andrew and Flemes, Daniel (2013): Foreign Policy Strategies of Emerging Powers in a Multipolar World: an introductory review, Special Issue of Third World Quarterly, 'Foreign Policy Strategies Of Emerging Powers in a Multipolar World' 34 (6): 943–62.

Cooper, Andrew (2013): Middle Power Leadership and the evolution of the G20, Global Summitry Journal (May): 14.

Cooper, Andrew (2013): Civil Society Relationships with the G20: An Extension of the G8 Template or Distinctive Pattern of Engagement?, Global Society 27 (2): 179–200.

Cooper, Andrew and Herman, Dan (2013): Between Collective Action and a fragmented Political Economy: the G20 and the Return of Protectionist Impulses, Contemporary Politics 19 (4) Dec: 399–410.

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Author) (2012): The Group of Twenty (G20), New York: Routledge (Foreword by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada)

Cooper, Andrew (2011): Internet Gambling Offshore: Carribean Struggles over Casino Capitalism, London: Palgrave Macmillan (Foreword by Eric Helleiner)

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2010): Rising States, Rising Institutions: Challenges for Global Governance, Washingotn, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2009): Which Way Latin America: Hemispheric Politics Meets Globalization, Tokyo: United Nations University Press

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2009): The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience, London: Palgrave Macmillan (Foreword by Vaughan A. Lewis, former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia)

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2008): Emerging Powers and Global Governance: Lessons from the Heiligendamm Process, Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Studies in International Governance Series (Chinese Translation: Shanghai People's Publications, 2009)

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2008): Global Governance and Diplomacy: World's Apart?, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Cooper, Andrew (2007): Celebrity Diplomacy, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishing (Foreword by Mme. Louise Fréchette, former UN Deputy Secretary-General)

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Editor) (2007): Regionalisation and Global Governance: The Taming of Globalisation?, London: Routledge

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Author) (2006): Intervention Without Intervening? OAS and Democracy in the Americas, New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Cooper, Andrew (Co-Author) (1993): Relocating Middle Powers: Australia and Canada in a Changning World Order, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press/University of Melbourne Press

For complete list of publication, please click here

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Advisory Board Member of a UK Economic and Social Research Council - Department for International Development (ESRC/DFID) project: ‘Poverty reduction and regional integration: a comparative analysis of SADC and UNASUR health policies’
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the 'Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy's'
  • Advisory Board Member of the Institute of International Relations, University of West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad, 2009-2011
  • Member of the GRASP Research Committee (Changing Multilateralism: The EU as a Global-Regional Actor in Security and Peace), 2008-2011
  • Member of the GARNET International Advisory Board (Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation: The Role of the EU), 2006-2009
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Foreign Policy Analysis, 2007-2009
  • Commissioner, Warwick Commission, "The Multilateral Trading System After Doha", 2006-2007
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Hague Journal of Diplomacy, since 2005
  • Team Leader, Diplomatic Training Course, Incoming Canadian Foreign Service Officers, 1997-2011
  • Diplomatic Training Course "International Economic Negotiations", University of Geneva, April 1995

Seminars and Conferences

  • Papers on "India and Informal International Institutions," Central University Gandhinagar Gujarat, 18 November, and Institute of Human Development, Delhi, 22 November 2013
  • "The G8", conference on BRICS/IBSA, Pretoria South Africa, sponsored by the Stanley Foundation and the Centre on Global Governance, University of Pretoria, 4 November 2013
  • Lead-off paper, "Emerging Donors: The Promise and Limits of Bilateral and Multilateral Democracy Promotion", Promoting Democracy: What Role for the Emerging Powers?, sponsored by the German Development Institute (DIE), International Development Research Centre (IDRC) & Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS) at the University of Ottawa, University of Ottawa, Social Sciences Building, 15 October 2013
  • "G20 and Contested Global Governance: BRICS, Middle Powers and Small States",Concluding Session, BPC-GIGA Conference on Rising Powers and Contested Orders in the Multipolar System, Rio de Janeiro, 19 September 2013
  • "Rising Powers and Multilateral Reform", Ghent University conference on Multilateral Institutional Reform, Brussels, 13-14 September 2013
  • "G20 Partnership for Growth and Jobs", presented to the Pre-G20 Summit Conference, 29 August 2013, the National Research University - Higher School of Economics, Moscow
  • "The Role of the G8 in the Era of the G20," Prospects and Possibilities for the G8 Lough Erne Summit: Trade, Transparency, Tax and Terrorism", The 2013 G8 Pre-Summit Conference, Queen's University Belfast, 13-14 June 2013
  • "Images of Vulnerability and Resilience in the Diplomacy of Small States", Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University, Israel, 22 April 2013
  • "De-centering the G20," ISA San Francisco, 4 April 2013 (also chaired a panel on BRICS, commented on papers on 'Global Health Governance', and was on a Round Table on Global Governance)
  • "The Spectacle of Global Transformation and Reproduction: The G20 as International Practice (with Vincent Pouliot), There and Back Again: Diplomacy in Theory and Practice, McGill University, Montreal, 15 March 2013
  • Keynote address: "From A-Lister to Aid Worker: Celebrity Diplomacy" (with Israel Idonije, Defensive Lineman, Chicago Bears, and Founder, The Israel Idonije Foundation), Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 4 March 2013
  • "G20 Middle Powers and Initiatives on Development," at Asan Global Governance Conference 2013, Strengthening Global Governance through Middle Power Leadership, 14-15 January 2013, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies, The Evolution of Middle Power Cooperation on G20 Financial and Economic Agendas
  • "Winners and Losers from the Crisis: on Financial Prudence and the Reconfiguration of Generosity", Special Public Lecture, the German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn, Germany, July 2012
  • "The G20 after the Los Cabos Summit", Speaking Tour sponsorde by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Berlin and Brussels, June 2012
  • "Wither Global Governance? Perspectives from Canada and China", Keynote Address at the 2nd Canadian-Chinese Conference, Centre for New Global Governance, School of International Studies, Renmin University, Beijing, October 2011
  • "Middle Powers in Global Governance", Concluding Address at the ASAN International Symposium, ASAN Institute for Policy Studies, Seoul, Korea, October 2011
  • "Ascending Powers and the International System", Keynote Address, The Matía Romero Institute, Secretería de Relaciones Exteriores, Mexico City, December 2010
  • "The G20: An Improvisied 'Crisis Committee' or an Embedded 'Steering Board' for the World?", Invited Public Lecture, IBEI, Barcelona, April 2010
  • "The G20 and Global Health Governance", Keynote Address at the Third High-Level Symposium on Global Health Diplomacy: 'Negotiating Health in the 21st Century: Regional Voices in Global Health Governance', Graduate's Institute Global Health Programme, Geneva, October 2009
  • "Picking Your Club: G8 or G20, BRICS or B(R)ICSAM", Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting of Oxfam International, Geneva, July 2009
  • "Celebrity Diplomacy: Unconventional International Politics", Clingendael Intitute, The Hague, Netherlands, October 2008

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