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Are we witnessing a restructuring of the global economic order, akin to the period immediately after World War Two; or is China’s leadership in global economic governance ancillary – even complimentary – to the existing order? To assess how China’s role in global economic governance has transformed, we examine China’s engagement with the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (AsDB). We analyze how the governance systems of these legacy intergovernmental organizations (IOs) have adjusted to the rise of China. We then turn to an inspection of China’s leadership within the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to determine whether it parallels or diverges from governance arrangements in legacy IOs. Our findings indicate that the AsDB and WB have failed to adjust to suitably account for the increased influence of China. Our conclusion suggests the creation of the AIIB was the result of frustration with the glacial pace of governance change in American-dominated global institutions. At the same time, we conclude the AIIB should not be seen as a direct challenge to legacy IOs and American dominance of global economic governance. We expect the continued widespread dissatisfaction of China and other rising powers within the American global order unless legacy IOs undertake significant adjustments to their internal governance mechanisms.
Using the concept of good governance, this article assesses how voting rules in the World Bank Group's primary loan facility determine members’ ability to influence the formation of winning coalitions in the Executive Board. In weighted voting systems, the percentage of votes held by an actor does not adequately measure the ability of that actor to affect outcomes because voting weights do not account for either the possible number of coalitions that may form or the number of votes needed to pass a resolution. In short, weighted voting systems cannot be straightforwardly analysed with reference to voting weights but instead require the determination of relative voting power. Using multiple measures of a priori voting power, data are presented before and after recent voice reforms. Results indicate that the United States, as expected, holds the largest share of voting power. Also, as expected, most borrowing members have little voting power. Unexpectedly, in several voting groups a single member is able to ensure its election to the Board. Hence, other members of these voting groups have no formal influence on the Board. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of voting power analysis for the concept of good governance within the World Bank.
What does representation mean when applied to international organizations? While many scholars working on normative questions related to global governance often make use of the concept of representation, few have addressed specifics of applying the concept to the rules and practices by which IOs operate. This article examines representation as a fundamental, albeit often neglected, norm of governance which, if perceived to be deficient or unfair, can interfere with other components of governance, as well as with performance of an organization’s core tasks by undermining legitimacy. We argue that the concept of representation has been neglected in the ongoing debates about good governance and democratic deficits within IOs. We aim to correct this by drawing on insights from normative political theory considerations of representation. The article then applies theoretical aspects of representation to the governance of the International Monetary Fund. We determine that subjecting IOs to this kind of conceptual scrutiny highlights important deficiencies in representational practices in global politics. Finally, our conclusion argues scholars of global governance need to address the normative and empirical implications of conceptualizing representation at the supranational level.
What motivates the U.S. when casting votes and to what degree does its formal influence matter in final outcomes in multilateral development banks? We first assess the formal influence of the U.S. on final decisions and find that 64% of projects lacking U.S. support were nevertheless approved, suggesting U.S. influence is not as strong as previously thought. We then test several hypotheses explaining how the U.S. votes on projects in MDBs. We find recipient need is strongly related to U.S. support and some evidence for both economic and political factors, such as trade relations and human rights.