- Created by: livlord1999
- Created on: 13-02-18 14:06
Criticisms of IMF
Intro - IMF is a key actor in international political economy. Established at Bretton Woods (1944) with almost all countries as members. IMF's primary function is to maintain exchange rate stability by giving short-term loans to countries with balance of payment problems. However, it has been criticised for several reasons
1st - IMF is a tool of the US to force the South to adopt a similar business model which benfits the global North rather than South. The IMF is situated in Washington, facilitating US govt. influence, and contributes the largest quota of votes (17%, IMF require 85% majority) thus effectively exercises a veto power.
2nd - Failure of surveillance. Fails to adequately monitor global economy, e.g. global financial crisis 2008. IMF is not critical enough of unregulated markets due to its blind following of the Washington Consensus and its neo-liberal policies of trade liberablisation and privatisation.
3rd - Accused of neo-colonialism. IMF is a key player in the global capitalist system in that it keeps the peripheries poor and the industrialised core rich. Exemplified by IMF's conditionalities (SAPs) which impose economic policies on countries whom get a loan from IMF which include privatisation and fiscal auterity - Malawi (1990) failed to conform, so IMF suspended aid at the height of a famine
Why is global governance controversial?
Intro - GG is a complex process of global political interaction and decision making to solve problems that affect more than one state. States remain sovereign but interngovernmental and supranational bodies also operate. There are several reasons why this is controversial
1st - Key institutions are West-dominated. Western hegemonic dominance has allowed the USA and allies to accumulate structural power in most institutions. This can be seen in the IMF (HQ in Washington, 17% of vote with veto power) and the UN (P5 USA, UK and France, all with veto powers). This is unrepresentative and an example of neo-colonialism
2nd - Global Governance is a step towards a World Government. Realists claim that intergovernmentalism and supranationalism is a threat to state sovereingty, national identity and democracy, in which global governance precipitates globalisation and cultures become homogenised. Realists argue GG is ineffective, e.g. EU and IMF struggle to monitor/maintain economic downturn (2008 financial crisis)
3rd - Global Governance implies that anarchy can be overcome without creating a world government or having a hegemon. GG is described as cooperation under anarchy, and draws on the idea of polycentrism, in which multiple decision-making frameworks i.e. IGOs/NGOs/TNCs enforce influence on global stage
Explain role of NATO since Cold War
Intro - NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is a military organisation with 29 members. Originally formed in 1949 to gain better security against USSR. Lord Ismay: "to keep Russians out, Americans in, and Germans down)
1st - NATO initial purpose was to act as a deterrent against the threat posed by the Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc satellite states, whose collective miliary alliance was the Warsaw Pact.
2nd - The end of the Cold War forced NATO to adopt a new role, which involved establishing itself as a force for European and global peacemaking and crisis managament e.g. in former-Yugoslavia. NATO has also expanded its involvenemtn beyond North Atlantic, particularly through the "war on terror" and its comment of the ISA in Afganistan.
3rd - NATO has been involved in redefing relations between the USA and its western allies post-communist Russia, partly through extending NATO membership to former-communiat states (e.g. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuana) and through the idea of missile defence.
Calls for reform of the UNSC
Intro - UNSC is main executive body of the UN - can make legally binding sanctions and sanctions/expel and suspend members/can take military action. Argued that UNSC is largely outdated
1st - P5 (US, UK, France, China, Russia) violates principle of state sov. and equality amongst states. Perpetuates the "great-power system", particularly post Cold War (UN was dominated by Western ideals and USA). UN is based in New York (influence from US govt.) and US is biggest contributor to UN (approx. $570,000,000 in 2017)
2nd - Veto powers (ability to reject or enforce will) enjoyed by the P5 concentrates power in the hands of just 5 countries, which is unequal and unrepresentative of wider global population E.g. Russia have vetoed Syrian regime 7 times since 2011 due to enjoying military and economic ties (2000-2010, Russia sold $1.5 bil of arms to Syria). This has paralysed the UNSC as P5 are unable to respond effectively in times of crisis.
3rd - Composition of P5 is outdated. Reflects post-WWII politics of 1940s. Debate over whether France and UK are still great powers, aside from historical reasons. Further reinforced by calls for inclusion of new rising powers (India, Germany, Japan, Brazil). Increased expansion of P5 would move away from Western-dominated idealogy and more globally inclusive UN
Why is supranationalism controversial?
Intro - Supranationalism is the existence of higher authority than that of the nation-state and capable of imposing its will on it. It transfers sovereignty and decision-making authority from states to regional/global IGOs (EU, UN etc.). It is controversial for severall reasons
1st - Firstly, unlike intergovernmentalism, supranationalism is a form of co-operation amongst states that has significant implications for sovereignty. States that are members of supranational organisations cease to have full and independent control over what occurs within their own borders.
2nd - Similarly, this may have implications for national identity. As most states are nation-states, independent self-government is a way of upholding and protecting their national distinctiveness. Supranationalism may erode this distinctiveness, creating, possibly, resentment and a nationalist backlash.
3rd - Finally, supranationalism is controversial because it tends to have implications for democracy. As democracy is difficult to establish at a level higher than the nation-state, the growth of supranational authority tends to lead to a ‘democratic deficit’ as it constricts the functioning of democracy at lower levels.
Criticisms of the WTO
Intro - WTO was founded in 1995 as a partner of IMF, with 164 members. It deals with the rule of trade between nations and facilitates the export of goods and services. The WTO has been criticised for several reasons
1st - The WTO's aims and underlying philosophy have been criticised. Global free trade has been seen to widen economic inequalities by giving dominant powers access to the markets of weak states while having little to fear themselves from foreign competition. Weaker states are therefore exploited. Free trade, moreover, tends to place profit before considerations of community, stability and workers’ rights
2nd - Environmentalists criticise the WTO - free trade and economic deregulation tend to weaken environmental protection and preservation. The WTO’s principles fail to take into account the environmental impact of free trade and economic restructuring. E.g.1991 - US banned imports of tuna from Mexico as dolphins were being killed from fishning nets. WTO rejected this as different states have different environmental policies
3rd - WTO is criticised for being undemocratic and for favouring the interests of rich and powerful state. E.g. rich countries have not fully opened their markets to products from poor countries. Khor argues the WTO has systematic bias towards rich countries
Criticisms of G8
Intro - The G8 emerged with the inclusion of Russia in the G7 in 1997. The primary objective of G8 was to ensure the overall coordination of the system of global economic governance. It has been criticised for several reasons
1st - Can exercise tremendous influence on global stage due to economic, military, and diplomatic power and influence. Tbus G8 has great influence on the policies and decisions of the UNSC, WTO, IMF, World Bank. However, the G8 has no permanent staff. For those negatively impacted by the policies of G8/G7, and for countries excluded from its deliberations, the G8/G7’s no one can be held accountable.
2nd - G8 has been a focus of anti-globalisation protests with criticism levelled at the perceived inability/unwillingness of G8 to deal, effectively, with poverty, inequality and climate change. Furthermore, the G8 cut social programmes, taking away space for gender equality, gay rights and disability rights.
3rd - Unrepresentative. G8 is accused of representing the interests of the super rich elite. Moreover, China, India, Africa nor Latin America are representated. It is a Western-dominated organisation, with 50% of the vote in World Bank/IMF
Criticisms of World Bank and it's response
Intro - World Bank is a partner of IMF with 189 member countries and the aim to reduce global poverty. Has been widely criticised, but has responded to these criticisms
1st - Dominated by the USA. Based in Washington, so subject to US govt. influence. This has led to the World Bank being overly keen on deregulation, privatisation and free trade - a blind following of the capitalist system which exploits third world countries and workers. Moreover, it spends too little on development. E.g, in 2016, US spent $600 bil on military, but WB only spent $63 bilm on economic development.
2nd - Largely ineffective. E.g. loans encourage poor countries to produce casg crops like cocoa/coffee, which leaves developing economies dependent on developed-world markets and vulnerable to the TNCs that control processing and distribution. Also reduces the amount of land for cultivation and food needs, which can lead to a continuing cycle of famine and poverty.
3rd - WB has responded to the criticism - Greater awareness of environmental costs of industrialisation/urbanisation, converting WB to sustainable development. Emphasis on good governance and anti-corruption policies/higher levels of accountability to ensure that projects are better for local needs. Post 2007 global crisis, developing world influence has increased
Purpose of UN
Intro - UN formed in 1945 to prevent war, reaffirm human rights, raise standards of living, and uphold a respect for international law. 193 members
1st - Security Council is the main body of the UN. It can make legally binding resolutions, expel/suspend members, impose sanctions and take military action. It has 15 members, 10 of which are selected by the General Assembly for a 2 year term. The permanent five (p5) consits of UK, US, France, China, Russia. Each member has 1 vote, but the p5 can exercise a veto, which often paralyses the security council from effective decision-making in times of crisis (e.g. Russia vetoing Syrian resolution 7 times since 2011)
2nd - General assembly is the deliberative and representative organ of the UN. All 193 member states get a vote. Function is to discuss, debate and make recommendations on a range of areas. Recommendations require a 2/3 majority vote.
3rd - Secretariat is the "civil service" of the UN. Administers the policies laid down by other organs as well as informing the media of UN's work, organising conferences and translating UN documents and speeches into the 6 official languages of the UN. Its HQ is in New York with the head of the Secretariat (Secretary-General) acting as the "face" of the UN. It maintains independence from the UN and members take an oath not to be influenced by outside govts.