Inadequate, but not quite hopeless.
The 2007 Group of Eight (G8) summit, which took place in Heiligendamm, Germany, on June 6-8, has been described by John Kirton (G8 Research Group, University of Toronto, Canada) as an "emerging centre of democratic global governance". Like many self-appointed elites, the G8 is an idiosyncratic club. The eight started as six in 1975 with a meeting in Rambouillet, France, of the heads of government of France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the USA-the most economically powerful democratic nations. This annual forum for discussion of matters of mutual interest was joined by Canada in 1976, by the European Union in 1977, and by Russia in 1997. Although the G8 nations account for nearly two-thirds of world economic output, the Russian economy is not among the world's top eight, whereas China with the fourth largest economy remains outside the G8 club. (excerpt)