The IMF and Democratic Governance

Issue Date January 2005
Volume 16
Issue 1
Page Numbers 89-102
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its fellow Bretton Woods financial institution, the World Bank, not only play many roles in the global economy but also affect democratic prospects in many corners of the world. Through structural-adjustment and austerity programs, the Fund and the Bank influence key policies of many nations, especially the poorer developing ones. The story of the Bank and the Fund shows why technocratic, expert-run institutions of global governance are necessarily limited and nondemocratic. Useful as they may be, such institutions can never become the basis for a governance that is at once globe-girdling, objective, and democratic.