Rising Powers, International Financial Institutions and Development Paradigms: The Decline of the Post-Washington Consensus

September 5, 2019


Name:  Ali Burak Güven- University of London

Title: Rising Powers, International Financial Institutions and Development Paradigms:The Decline of the Post-Washington Consensus

Date:  December 12, 2018 – WEDNESDAY

Place: CASE Z 127

Time: 17:30-18:45


A quiet transformation has taken place in North-South development cooperation over the past decade. Once leading proponents of rigid, ‘one-size-fits-all’ neoliberal reforms, the IMF and the World Bank have gradually, though decisively, shed their normative certitude to embrace a more flexible and discretionary approach towards their clients in the global South. Building on recent fieldwork in Washington, DC, this talk provides evidence for this shift, and ponders its causes and broad implications. The crucial change in this regard is the partial decline of the post-Washington Consensus (PWC), in particular its broad agenda of institutional and governance reform. In the background of this change is a combination of internal and external factors, namely intensified operational constraints on the ground, sub rosa resistance from large borrowers, and the emergence of rival, South-led multilateral lenders. While indicative of broader power shifts in the global political economy, this controlled decline of the PWC also underlines the adaptive capacity of the Bretton Woods twins to ensure their continued survival as core institutions of global economic governance.

Short bio:

Dr Ali Burak Güven is Lecturer in International Relations and International Political Economy at Birkbeck, University of London, where he directs the MSc Global Governance and Emerging Powers. His work lies at the intersection of comparative and international political economy, focusing primarily on development policy and practice. Much of his recent research examines how an increasingly multipolar global economy impacts the parameters of development cooperation, with particular reference to international organisations such as the IMF and the World Bank. Policy and institutional trajectories in emerging countries constitute another substantive research interest. Dr Guven has published in journals including Development and Change, Development Policy Review, Global Governance, International Affairs, New Political Economy, Review of International Political Economy, and Studies in Comparative International Development. He is the co-editor of Civilizing Globalization (SUNY, 2014) and has been working on a monograph on the evolution of agricultural and financial institutions of market governance in neoliberal Türkiye.