Global Governance: Critical Perspectives

Global Governance: Critical Perspectives

Global Governance: Critical Perspectives

Global Governance: Critical Perspectives


In recent years, the role of global institutions such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank has never been more important to the lives of individuals throughout the world. This edited book provides critical perspectives on the role of these institutions and how they use their policies, procedures and practices to manage global political, socio-economic, legal and environmental affairs. In contrast to previously published books on this subject, Global Governance is organized thematically rather than by institution. Each chapter examines core issues such as labour, finance, the environment, health, culture, gender, civil society, poverty and development. It should be essential reading for undergraduate students of international politics, international political economy and international economics.


It is clear to all of us that ownership is essential. Countries must be in the driver's seat and set the course. They must determine goals and the phasing, timing and sequencing of programs. Where there is not adequate capacity in the government to do this, we must support and help them to establish, own, and implement the strategy…. the existence of the matrix is not a clandestine attempt on the part of the Bank to dominate the international development arena, or the donor dialogue in a given country. Quite the contrary. It is a tool to have greater cooperation, transparency, and partnership… the matrix is open to all. It is a step towards inclusion, transparency and to accountability… Ultimately, the matrix is a tool for the governments and people of the countries we serve. It is they who must own the programs, not us, and it is they who must set the pace.

(James D. Wolfensohn, 'A Proposal for a Comprehensive Development Framework', World Bank, 21 January 1999, pp. 9, 23)

Matrix. 1. the uterus or womb. 2. a place or medium in which something is bred, produced or developed. 3. An embedding or enclosing mass. 4. a piece of metal, usually copper, by means of which the face of a type is cast, having the letter stamped on it in intaglio with a punch. 5. a rectangular arrangement of quantities or symbols.

From The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977)

In January 1999 the World Bank launched its 'Comprehensive Development Framework' (CDF). At its heart was a matrix which mapped key policy issues and areas in relation to four actors: the international development community, governments, civil society, and the private sector. World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn was eager to assure his audience that the matrix was a tool for governments to own rather than a clandestine attempt by the Bank to dominate the international development arena. the argument of this chapter is that on the contrary the cdf is a vehicle for global governance managed and co-ordinated by the Bank: governments do not own the matrix through which it is operated, as it was devised within the Bank over a decade in accordance with its own priorities; rather, as Wolfensohn's

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