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Promising Avenues, False Starts and Dead Ends: Global Governance and Development Finance in the Wake of the Crisis

The paper examines three related questions. How is the crisis affecting the governance of the IMF and the influence that developing countries have within the institution; what new policy space is available to developing countries; and what alternative financial architectures will emerge as competitors or complements to the Fund? At this point it appears that IMF practice on capital controls has changed partly as a consequence of the crisis, that relatively autonomous developing countries are taking advantage of the policy space that has emerged, and that the global financial architecture is becoming more heterogeneous and multi-nodal.  To date, developing countries have secured only modest commitments for increases in their formal influence at the IMF as a consequence of the crisis. However, it is premature to conclude now that the formal and informal influence of developing countries will not increase in the coming years. To the degree that the current crisis has precipitated ruptures in the global financial architecture, then, it may also create some space for pressing an inclusive, participatory, feminist agenda in this domain.

Significantly revised, April 2011

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