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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 28, Issue 5, May 2000, Pages 823–841
Over the last decade, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have embraced “good governance” as a set of principles to guide their objectives in member countries. Both institutions now face pressures to apply some similar standards of transparency, accountability and participation to themselves. This paper examines the challenges this poses for the organizations, beyond the steps they have already undertaken to disseminate more information and to enhance their relations with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The paper argues that if “good governance” is to be furthered within the IMF and the World Bank, then changes in their constitutional rules, their balancing of stakeholders' rights, their decision-making rules and practices, and their staffing and expertise need to be considered.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank enjoy a special place in the politics of world economic relations. Both organizations can claim a virtually universal membership and accountability to governments across the world. In this they are unlike most other international financial institutions, such as the Group of Seven (G-7),1 the Bank for International Settlements (BIS),2 the Group of Ten (G-10),3 and a host of other regulatory agencies. Indeed the claim to universal membership underpinned the IMF's recent insistence that deliberations on any reform of the global financial system should take place within the Fund's Interim Committee as opposed to in any ad hoc or US-selected group of countries. Yet the IMF and the World Bank need to reconsider the grounds on which they claim to be universal, representative and accountable organizations. In the 1990s, both the IMF and the World Bank became powerful advocates of high standards of legitimacy, representation, and accountability in governments seeking to borrow from them. These standards were given the label “good governance.” Yet closer scrutiny suggests that the institutions themselves do not altogether live up to these standards. Although both institutions have undertaken significant organizational reforms in the past decade, applying their own standards of “good governance” reveals that further reforms in both institution ought to be considered. The voting structure of the IMF and the World Bank is one place to start. Votes have been allocated in a highly politicized way since the organizations were created—a fact, in itself posing problems for “good governance” standards of impartiality and transparency. More importantly, as the roles of the institutions have changed over the past four decades, they have not adequately adapted to the emergence of a new category of stakeholders. While both the IMF and World Bank often write of the necessity of including stakeholders in the initiation and design of programs and policies, neither institution has adequately included all present-day stakeholders in its own governance. At the same time, whether or not the voting structure is changed, there are several other decision-making issues that deserve review, and especially the respective roles played by the Executive Board, consensus decision-making, nongovernmental organizations, and the staff, management and research in both organizations. This paper makes a case for change in each of these areas. It does not offer a detailed examination of the everyday workings of the institutions. Rather, the analysis focuses on questions of governance with an eye to informing the current debate about reform.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Both the IMF and the World Bank have recognized that they need to refashion their modes of operation so as more effectively to fulfill mandates which are dramatically different to those envisaged when the Fund and Bank were created. For the effectiveness of their work, each has come to accept the notion of “good governance” within countries in which they work, and the need for local participation and widespread political support in order for economic reforms to be sustainable. The challenge the institutions have been slower to absorb is what these principles mean for their own operations and for the tradeoff between legitimacy and effectiveness which characterizes their decision-making processes. The preceding sections have opened up a number of shortcomings which arise within both the Fund and the Bank. In the first place, it has been argued that the constitutional rules of the institutions no longer adequately reinforce their universal character and identity. Unlike the BIS, the G-7 or the recently formed G-22, the IMF and the World Bank can claim to represent virtually all countries in the world. Yet this claim rest not on the “token universality” of their membership list, but rather on the extent to which they are seen genuinely to be giving some stake to all countries. At present this claim is weak since inequality among their membership has widened considerably as basic votes (the primary symbol of equality within the organizations) have been marginalized, and the methods used to calculate quotas questioned. Furthermore, both institutions need now to consider how adequately they represent and balance the rights of their contemporary stakeholders, including developing and transition countries whose cooperation is required for the institutions to do their job. A new balance may well require a revitalization of basic votes and a rewriting of how quotas are calculated. Such changes by themselves, however, will not translate automatically into better governance within the institutions this will also depend upon changes in their decision-making rules and procedures. It has been argued that the practice of consensus decision-making may well be appropriate to certain kinds of general policy decisions in each of the Bank and Fund. In relation to specific operational decisions, however, consensus decision-making falls short of standards of transparency and accountability: since specific countries or groups within countries which are affected as stakeholders have little access to information as to how or why such decisions have been made. Furthermore, where special majorities exist for categories of decision, they should be part of a rational and well-defined set of decision-making rules. The rationale for a special majority requirement must be clear since it empowers large vote-holders with a capacity to block particular actions. In turn, this gives such vote-holders significant power to influence proposals before they are placed before the Board. If what is required is a special degree of accountability to particular stakeholders (e.g., contributors) then double majorities might be a clearer, less partial, remedy than special majorities. A further role played by the IMF and the World Bank in the world economy is as premiere centers of “knowledge” and “research” about economic policy and development. The status of the research they present to the world reflects not only the reputations of both institutions as research centers of excellence but also their status as institutions which represent and research issues across the world from an international perspective. Yet, the staffing of the organizations is not (and is not perceived as) representative of the different approaches and traditions of its member states. This has become a particular problem very recently. As both organizations have recognized the vital importance of institution-building and good governance within member countries, so too they had to accept the limits of their expertise in this area, and their lack of necessary “local knowledge.” Both are now moving positively to try to enhance participation within member countries in which they work. There is a strong parallel case for precipitating and extending this trend to staffing and operations in Washington, DC so that the staff within each organization better represent the range of views of the membership, rather than “Anglo-Saxon” concentration of approach and training which now exists. Participation, it must be recalled, requires not just “better explanations” but the full involvement of the membership in the definition of problems (and solutions) that the institutions need to address. In summary, this paper has argued that there are both practical and principled reasons for improving the standards of “good governance” within international organizations. If the IMF and the World Bank are to achieve the standard of good governance they themselves have defined for borrowing members, some reform of the constitutional rules, as well as the decision-making procedures and practices within both institutions, is required. Both institutions need squarely to face the challenges of a world in which all stakeholders demand greater representation, participation and accountability, and furthermore, in which new stakeholders are beginning to emerge.