IMF Reform After the Crisis

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Year of publication: 2013
Author(s): Dries Lesage, Peter Debaere, Sacha Dierckx, Mattias Vermeiren
Appeared in: International Politics


Abstract

The global financial crisis moved the International Monetary Fund (IMF) back to the center stage, after some years of disengagement by major emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs). Neo-liberal institutionalism predicts that crises in a highly interdependent world induce states to strengthen multilateral institutions. In the case of the IMF, many observers believed that a more effective IMF was contingent on giving EMDCs a larger voice. However, the 2010 Quota and Governance Reform at the IMF fell below expectations in this regard. On the basis of an analysis of the ex ante preferences and power relations of the major players, we show that this should not come as a surprise and that the 2010 reform agreement has reached the boundaries of the politically possible. Hence, this empirical case study brings in power and preferences to qualify the more optimist neo-liberal institutionalist accounts against the backdrop of an increasingly multipolar world.