Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Theresa Reinold
    The Path of Least Resistance: Mainstreaming “Social Issues” in the International Monetary Fund
    in Global Society , Volume 31, Issue 3 ,  2017 ,  392-416
    This article traces efforts to mainstream social issues in the institutional architecture of the IMF, attributing the lack of progress in this area mainly to the Fund's organisational culture, which steers the IMF towards the path of least resistance when it comes to policy innovation. Whereas the IMF is frequently portrayed as a puppet of powerful member states, this article identifies the Fund's organisational culture as the central factor explaining the slow pace of mainstreaming social issues in the Fund’s architecture. In the absence of member state leadership on this issue, and in light of committed management’s limited room for manoeuvre, IMF staff enjoyed much leeway to pursue an approach that was most suited to their skill set, ideological orientations and the Fund's core mandate. Due to the Fund's strictly hierarchical structure, its recruitment policies, insufficient self-evaluation and reluctance to seriously engage with reform initiatives emanating from civil society, social issues are far from being mainstreamed in the Fund's daily operations.
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