When the Group of 7 pose for its ritual family photo Thursday on the rocky Adriatic coast of Italy, the image will not be of leaders at the height of their political strength.

Instead, nearly to a person, the leaders assembling at a luxury resort in Puglia find themselves weakened at home by elections, scandal or waning influence. Amid the olive trees and swimming pools, the anti-incumbent sentiments coursing through Western democracies are creating extraordinarily high stakes for global geopolitics.

Rarely has the yearly gathering of the world’s leading economies been so overshadowed by the political vulnerabilities of nearly all its members. It raises questions of how effective the “steering committee of the free world,” as US President Joe Biden’s aides have labeled the G7, can actually be amid anger and discontent from their own populations.

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