Institutional Isomorphism, the Multilateral Development Banks and the Diffusion of Accountability Mechanisms |

Institutional Isomorphism, the Multilateral Development Banks and the Diffusion of Accountability Mechanisms

Synopsis:

Between 1994 and 2004 Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) all adopted ‘external’ accountability mechanisms to provide redress for people affected by MDB financed projects. While this fit with broader trends to make international organizations (IOs) more accountable it was not in member states’ interests to allow individuals to hold IOs to account. What explains this puzzle? The article argues that the MDBs adopted accountability mechanisms (AMs) because of institutional isomorphism, where coercive isomorphism from donor members particularly the United States (US) was the main trigger for their creation. Arguably, donors had ideational rather than material reasons to push for AMs in their reform of the MDBs. The coercive isomorphic processes at work reveal the dominant ideational influence of the US across all of the MDBs, which have overlapping member states, similar functions, and similar accountability problems.

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Speaker(s):

Dr. Susan Park, Senior Lecturer, International Relations, University of Sydney

Date:
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Time:
12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Venue:

Seminar Room 3-5,
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer,
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
469C Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 259772

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