chapter  5
22 Pages

Combination diplomacy: Issue-based blocs and sub-sectoral crossover alliances

With the launch of the Uruguay Round, two coalition trends emerged on the wrecks and remains of the Informal Group and the path paved by the G-20. One trend involved an attempt to combine the mixed lessons of the G-10 and the G-20 and construct a coalition that adopted the best strategies of both groups. The other parallel trend sought to institutionalise the G-20/Café au Lait with minimal change, on the assumption that the successes of the new coalition represented the way forward. Two features common to both trends are noteworthy. First, the rift between the former hard-liners and the ‘Enthusiasts’ did not disappear. Many of the prominent members of the Informal Group, for instance, backed the first coalition type that tried to draw on the positive lessons of the G-10. The Enthusiasts were particularly active in the attempt to sustain and reproduce the Café au Lait. Second, both attempts were pursued simultaneously and warily, at least at the time of the launch of the Uruguay Round. This chapter examines the basis and successes of the first trend, that is combination diplomacy that sought to fuse the best strategies of the G-10 and the G-20. The second trend of building coalitions on the blueprint of the Café au Lait is examined in detail in the Chapter 6.