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World Bank Group interactions with environmentalists

World Bank Group interactions with environmentalists: Changing international organisation identities

Susan Park
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    World Bank Group interactions with environmentalists
    Book Description:

    This book shows how environmentalists have shaped the world’s largest multilateral development lender, investment financier and political risk insurer to take up sustainable development. The book challenges an emerging consensus over international organisational change to argue that international organisations (IOs) are influenced by their social structure and may change their practices to reflect previously antithetical norms such as sustainable development. This important text locates sources of organisational change with environmentalists, thus demonstrating the ways in which non-state actors can effect change within large intergovernmental organisations through socialisation. It combines a theoretically sophisticated account of international organisation change with detailed empirical evidence of change in one issue area across three institutions. The book will be of interest to academics, postgraduate and upper undergraduate students in international relations, international political economy, environmental politics, development and globalisation studies and geography as well as policy makers, international bureaucrats and development practitioners.

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-333-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of figures and boxes
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  7. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    The World Bank Group (WBG) is a constellation of international organisations (IOs) with global reach.¹ Since the early 1980s, environmental groups have documented numerous cases where the World Bank (IBRD/IDA), the most well-known organisation, has contributed to environmental devastation and community dislocation through its development projects. In doing so, environmentalists challenge the perceived omnipotence of the World Bank in spreading globalisation and determining development agendas (George and Sabelli 1994; Goldman 2005; Woods 2006). The World Bank is viewed as such because it has financial autonomy through capital markets and bonds while it is financially underpinned by member states (Caufield 1996;...

  8. 2 Changing IOs: identity and socialisation
    (pp. 19-57)

    As the largest and most well-known organisation within the WBG, the World Bank has received significant attention from policy-makers, activists and academia. Over time the Bank has expanded its operations to encompass a myriad of different ideas and agendas, a process often described as ‘mission creep’ (Einhorn 2001; Gutner 2005a). This chapter questions the origin of the norms that IOs such as the World Bank and its affiliates internalise. Where these ideas originate from is important because IOs play a prominent role in the process of norm diffusion, teaching states their interests. Yet constructivists have largely overlooked the origin of the norms...

  9. 3 The World Bank and new norms of development
    (pp. 58-126)

    The previous chapter outlined how international norms constitute and reconstitute IO identities through processes of direct and indirect socialisation. Demonstrating that IOs consume norms from their social structure and reproduce them explains how and why IOs diffuse the norms they do. Building on this framework, this chapter analyses how direct and indirect socialisation from TEANs led to an identity shift within the World Bank via persuasion, social influence and coercion. Each of these three micro-processes of direct and indirect socialisation is evident in analysing three core components of the World Bank: its projects, policies and institutions. Taken together, they provide...

  10. 4 IFC and norms of sustainable finance
    (pp. 127-183)

    While socialisation of the World Bank began in the 1980s, IFC became the focus of TEANs for investing in environmentally destructive development in the 1990s. This chapter documents how direct and indirect socialisation by TEANs led to an identity shift in IFC through its projects, policies and institutions. Although different from the Bank, these components again demonstrate how IFC consumed sustainable development norms as a result of TEAN interactions. First IFC’s finance identity is established and indications that IFC has internalised sustainable development are provided. Then the micro-processes of TEAN socialisation of IFC are traced: TEANs used problem project campaigns...

  11. 5 MIGA and green political risk?
    (pp. 184-236)

    Following the increased intensity of TEAN interactions with IFC, MIGA also began to attract TEAN attention for providing political risk insurance to investors funding projects with severe environmental impacts. Attempts to socialise MIGA roughly followed the same pattern established in the previous two cases. This chapter argues that MIGA is only now beginning to follow a market-based sustainable development. Arguably this is a result of its political risk insurer identity: MIGA underwrites projects in developing countries rather than investing in a project sponsor like IFC or lending for a development project like the Bank.¹ MIGA’s once removed position in the...

  12. 6 Conclusion: lending, investing and guaranteeing sustainable development
    (pp. 237-246)

    International organisations are important in international politics because they undertake tasks that states either do not or cannot undertake themselves. Thus far I have argued that IO actions and identities cannot be explained merely through unpacking the interests of their member states. As such, the central thrust of this book has been to posit that IOs can consume or internalise ideas, that is, they can take up different ways of thinking about and operationalising their state determined mandates. In some ways examining how IOs change is therefore unique. They are made up of member states, but they have their own...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-278)
  14. Index
    (pp. 279-284)