After the Crisis and Beyond the New Constitutionalism? The Case of the Free Movement of Capital

Year of publication: 2013
Author(s): Sacha Dierckx
Appeared in: Globalizations

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This article examines the ‘new constitutionalism’ of the free movement of capital at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the global economic crisis. It is argued that the concept of new constitutionalism, as developed by Stephen Gill, is an indispensable concept to understand the still growing institutionalization of neoliberal policies in constitutions, laws, institutions, and regulations. The latest attempt to further extend the constitutionalization of the free movement of capital, one of the pillars of neoliberalism, is the IMF's newly developed ‘institutional view’ on capital flows. This approach, while more pragmatic than earlier attempts, can be understood as a renewed effort to prevent emerging markets and developing countries from installing capital controls and deviating significantly from neoliberal policies. However, emerging markets and developing countries have opposed this new IMF framework. As such, the ability to further extend the new constitutionalism of the free movement of capital is severely weakened.