The Politics of Global Regulation

Princeton University Press
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Regulation by public and private organizations can be hijacked by special interests or small groups of powerful firms, and nowhere is this easier than at the global level. In whose interest is the global economy being regulated? Under what conditions can global regulation be made to serve broader interests? This is the first book to examine systematically how and why such hijacking or "regulatory capture" happens, and how it can be averted.

Walter Mattli and Ngaire Woods bring together leading experts to present an analytical framework to explain regulatory outcomes at the global level and offer a series of case studies that illustrate the challenges of a global economy in which many institutions are less transparent and are held much less accountable by the media and public officials than are domestic institutions. They explain when and how global regulation falls prey to regulatory capture, yet also shed light on the positive regulatory changes that have occurred in areas including human rights, shipping safety, and global finance. This book is a wake-up call to proponents of network governance, self-regulation, and the view that technocrats should be left to regulate with as little oversight as possible.


In addition to the editors, the contributors are Kenneth W. Abbott, Samuel Barrows, Judith L. Goldstein, Eric Helleiner, Miles Kahler, David A. Lake, Kathryn Sikkink, Duncan Snidal, Richard H. Steinberg, and David Vogel.

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About the author

Walter Mattli is professor of international political economy and a fellow of St. John's College, University of Oxford. Ngaire Woods is professor of international political economy and director of the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Apr 27, 2009
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9781400830732
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / Economics
Law / International
Political Science / Globalization
Political Science / Intergovernmental Organizations
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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"The IMF and the World Bank have integrated a large number of countries into the world economy by requiring governments to open up to global trade, investment, and capital. They have not done this out of pure economic zeal. Politics and their own rules and habits explain much of why they have presented globalization as a solution to challenges they have faced in the world economy."—from the Introduction

The greatest success of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank has been as globalizers. But at whose cost? Would borrowing countries be better off without the IMF and World Bank? This book takes readers inside these institutions and the governments they work with. Ngaire Woods brilliantly decodes what they do and why they do it, using original research, extensive interviews carried out across many countries and institutions, and scholarship from the fields of economics, law, and politics.

The Globalizers focuses on both the political context of IMF and World Bank actions and their impact on the countries in which they intervene. After describing the important debates between U.S. planners and the Allies in the 1944 foundation at Bretton Woods, she analyzes understandings of their missions over the last quarter century. She traces the impact of the Bank and the Fund in the recent economic history of Mexico, of post-Soviet Russia, and in the independent states of Africa. Woods concludes by proposing a range of reforms that would make the World Bank and the IMF more effective, equitable, and just.

Over the past two decades, governments have delegated extensive regulatory authority to international private-sector organizations. This internationalization and privatization of rule making has been motivated not only by the economic benefits of common rules for global markets, but also by the realization that government regulators often lack the expertise and resources to deal with increasingly complex and urgent regulatory tasks. The New Global Rulers examines who writes the rules in international private organizations, as well as who wins, who loses--and why.

Tim Büthe and Walter Mattli examine three powerful global private regulators: the International Accounting Standards Board, which develops financial reporting rules used by corporations in more than a hundred countries; and the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which account for 85 percent of all international product standards. Büthe and Mattli offer both a new framework for understanding global private regulation and detailed empirical analyses of such regulation based on multi-country, multi-industry business surveys. They find that global rule making by technical experts is highly political, and that even though rule making has shifted to the international level, domestic institutions remain crucial. Influence in this form of global private governance is not a function of the economic power of states, but of the ability of domestic standard-setters to provide timely information and speak with a single voice. Büthe and Mattli show how domestic institutions' abilities differ, particularly between the two main standardization players, the United States and Europe.

Over the past two decades, governments have delegated extensive regulatory authority to international private-sector organizations. This internationalization and privatization of rule making has been motivated not only by the economic benefits of common rules for global markets, but also by the realization that government regulators often lack the expertise and resources to deal with increasingly complex and urgent regulatory tasks. The New Global Rulers examines who writes the rules in international private organizations, as well as who wins, who loses--and why.

Tim Büthe and Walter Mattli examine three powerful global private regulators: the International Accounting Standards Board, which develops financial reporting rules used by corporations in more than a hundred countries; and the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which account for 85 percent of all international product standards. Büthe and Mattli offer both a new framework for understanding global private regulation and detailed empirical analyses of such regulation based on multi-country, multi-industry business surveys. They find that global rule making by technical experts is highly political, and that even though rule making has shifted to the international level, domestic institutions remain crucial. Influence in this form of global private governance is not a function of the economic power of states, but of the ability of domestic standard-setters to provide timely information and speak with a single voice. Büthe and Mattli show how domestic institutions' abilities differ, particularly between the two main standardization players, the United States and Europe.

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