قدرت حفاظت: نحوه حفظ صدای غالب ایالات غربی در اداره بانک جهانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22982||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9560 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 46, June 2013, Pages 153–164
The global economic crisis raised the urgency of reforming the Bretton Woods organizations in order to get more “buy in” from developing countries. But the “voice” reforms announced in 2010, heralded as a major shift in favor of developing countries, left them severely under-represented relative to their weight in the world economy, both collectively and many individually. This paper reveals how the World Bank and representatives of western states manipulated the process to make voting power changes appear substantial. The paper then discusses alternative voting power systems for the Bank, in light of the generally accepted need to enhance the legitimacy of the organization.
As has often been remarked, the world is currently experiencing the biggest shift in the location of economic activity in two centuries; roughly speaking, from West to East. While applauded by some, the shift is creating deep insecurity in the long dominant western states, prompting them to try to protect the power positions they attained as a result of their economic dominance in the decades after the Second World War. And it is also creating ambiguity in the rising states about their new role in inter-state organizations, wanting a larger voice but also wary of new responsibilities. In a speech in April 2010, World Bank president Robert Zoellick (2010) argued that the advent of “a new, fast-evolving multipolar world economy” required fundamental reforms of the World Bank itself, including in the balance of power between developed countries and emerging countries. Soon after, the World Bank presented a set of ostensibly far-reaching proposals on “voice reform”, to be endorsed by its Board of Governors, the culmination of negotiations begun years before.1 Voice reform had several components, of which the central and most contentious one was voting reform to give developing and transition countries (DTCs) more voting power in the Bank’s governing body. The Governors approved the proposals at the 2010 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Bank launched them under the headline, “New World, New World Bank” (WB, 2010).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The voice reform of 2008–10 constitutes a remarkable diplomatic achievement, considering that it is the first comprehensive voting power realignment in the Bank’s history and that all member countries could veto proposals that would decrease their voting power. As for its impact on the Bank, some observers see it as a ”complete game-changer” and consider the fact that most parties are frustrated with the deal as testifying to the success of debate and compromise where all parties gave up some of their own narrow interest for a significant collective agreement. Others see it as a minor step which will not substantially affect the operations of the Bank, and which falls far short of what is necessary to fortify the organization’s legitimacy. This paper tends to support the latter. A quick recap: First, the aggregate shift of voting power from developed to developing countries is very modest in percentage point terms, and lower than official figures indicate. The total shift of voting power from high-income countries to low and middle-income countries is 3.71% (1.35% in phase 1 and 2.36% in phase 2). As a result, high-income countries retain more than 60% of the votes. Second, the stated objective of at least avoiding a fall in voting power for the low-income countries in the second phase of the voice reform was not achieved; the aggregate voting power of low-income countries in fact fell in the second phase. Over both phases they gained a sliver (0.39 percentage points), less than 10% of the aggregate shift of voting power from developed countries to DTCs. Third, as a result of these small adjustments, large voting power imbalances remain. The voting power to GDP ratio varies from less than 0.5 to almost 4. Yet the Bank has repeatedly emphasized that shareholding “should reflect in large measure the economic weight of member countries”. Overall, the voice reform is a modest step toward enlarging the voice and participation of developing countries. By not going further to adjust its voting power system to the realities of the global economy the World Bank missed an opportunity to bolster its representational legitimacy and strengthen the larger system of multilateral cooperation that has taken half a century to build. While resistance to more substantial voting power realignments may be in the short-term interest of some developed countries, it is not in their collective medium to long-term interests. It will likely contribute to further marginalization of the Bretton Woods organizations, to the benefit of the G20 and other such fora comprised of the largest economic powers. This is, of course, to the detriment of countries not included in small and exclusive clubs.29 For the future, it is important that: • Basic votes are restored to at least 10% of total votes, which was their original level in 1944. • A sizable proportion is classed as “regional basic votes” and allocated equally to the world’s four main regions: Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa (for example, 10% to each region). • The remaining share (50% in this example) is allocated to the four regions on the basis of each region’s share of global GDP. • Each region’s voting share is allocated to countries within the region on the basis of each country’s share of regional GDP. • Shareholding realignments are undertaken automatically, each year or every 5 years. • Above all, the Articles of Agreement—the elephant in the room—must be amended to remove members’ “pre-emptive rights” on capital increases, which is a sine qua non for substantial voting power reforms and for the World Bank’s legitimacy and viability. Elsewhere we have argued that similar principles should be applied to governance reform in the IMF and to the design of a new Global Economic Council to replace the existing G20 (Authors, 2012).