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Controlling capital: the international monetary fund and transformative incremental change from within international organisations

Chwieroth, Jeffrey M. (2014) Controlling capital: the international monetary fund and transformative incremental change from within international organisations. New Political Economy, 19 (3). pp. 445-469. ISSN 1356-3467

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Abstract

As a result of a long-running internal debate there have been notable incremental changes to how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) treats capital controls, particularly those directed at inflows. These changes combine new acceptance of these policy instruments with an older emphasis on their negative consequences and on the desirability of free movement of capital. Policy change of this sort is puzzling from the standpoint of the existing literature on international organisations (IOs), which has thus far paid little attention to transformative incremental change associated with long-term contestation. This article departs from this tendency by drawing on insights from principal–agent theory, constructivism and historical institutionalism to identify the conditions under which such change may originate. I argue that actors within IOs are likely to pursue incremental change by layering new policies on to old ones as a way to build coalitions and to respond to external organisational insecurity imperatives and diverse member state preferences and to internal path-dependent organisational cultural features. Over time the incremental shifts brought by layering can induce transformative rather than reproductive change because they fit with consequentialist and appropriateness behavioural logics. I illustrate this argument by investigating recent changes in IMF policy on capital controls.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cnpe20
Additional Information: © 2014 Taylor and Francis Group.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 15:00
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50829/

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