Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements

Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements

Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements

Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements

Synopsis

The contest to shape global governance is increasingly being conducted on a number of levels and among a diverse set of actors. This book argues that increasing engagement between international institutions and sectors of civil society is producing a new form of international organization. The authors study the relationship between the IMF, World Bank, and World Trade Organisation, and environmental, labor, and women's movements, providing a rich analysis of the institutional response to social movement pressure.

Excerpt

The origins of this book lie in a 1994 research programme on global economic institutions (GEI) launched by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of Great Britain. The programme encouraged researchers to discuss how existing global economic institutions and regimes, 'shape international interaction, within the context of important changes underway in the world economy' (ESRC 1995). Feeling that initial ESRC projects reflected a narrow field of investigation, we (at that stage all colleagues at the University of Sussex) formulated a research project that would help discover the nature of the evolving relationship between the major public multilateral economic institutions and the world's population. From our perspective, early ESRC GEI projects were dominated by economistic methodologies and a view of the global political economy which excluded civil society actors. Although claiming that changes in the world economy posed great challenges for economic institutions, the methodology and units of analysis used in the projects were hardly innovative. Our view was not that the funded projects were unimportant or unworthy, but that as a group they seemed oblivious of recent theoretical and empirical developments in the fields of international relations, sociology and politics.

It was our hope that the research we produced would supplement and challenge both the findings and the intellectual assumptions of other GEI projects. The initial goal was to determine what relationship there might be between this grand developing architecture of interstate (and sometimes interfirm or state—firm) economic institutions and the non-elite majority of the world's population. It was an interesting, but over-ambitious undertaking given the temporal (two years) and financial (£56,700) constraints on the project. To fulfil the . . .

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