International Development Regime



Shared norms and principles of regime

-          Developed (or industrialized) states have an obligation to assist developing states

-          Economic development will improve global economy

-          Raising standards of living is element of development

-          Poverty harms economic growth

-          “Poverty reduction” is now a key goal

Contested norms and principles

 “Washington Consensus” (US, IMF, political right)

-          develops in the 1970s

-          Market institutions are the best means to growth

-          Income equality should be subordinated to growth

-          Fiscal austerity is necessary 

-          Political stability is necessary (authoritarian rule is OK)

-          promotes “structural adjustment” of economies

 Sustainable Development (political left, NGOs, WB?)

-          promote development that meets the needs of present generation without compromising ability of future generations to meet their needs

-          Market institutions often fail

-          Free trade has harmful effects too

-          Income equality leads to faster growth

-          Austerity undermines social development

-          Environmental harms should be calculated

-          Good governance improves growth (liberal democracy necessary)


Current Agenda

-          Millennium Development Goals (UN-wide program)

-          Poverty reduction through debt forgiveness for poorest states

-          Building education & healthcare infrastructure (HIV/AIDS)

-   Reduce government corruption

-          Greening of development: more environmental concerns


Theoretical Explanations


Realism (Statism) & Development

Economic development is part of power creation by states

-          North-South divide is over power

-          Weak states are poor because they are weak (internationally and domestically)

-          Developing countries seek to use multilateral means to restrain industrialized states (call for “New International Economic Order” NIEO in 1970s)


Development is a means to achieve political autonomy

-          ‘dependency’ does exist

-          industrialized states bribe and coerce developing states economically

-          foreign assistance is used to influence the foreign policy and domestic economic policies of developing states

Relative gains concerns block agreement on development

-          Gain for developing states is loss for industrialized states

-          Aid is best directed to allies and politically aligned states

Liberalism & Development

-          states have an interest in promoting development to expand economic growth

-          limited public v. private funding reflects interests of donor states

-          World Bank as an IO developed an inherent interest in fighting poverty

-          Monetary regime has different goal than development regime (IMF v. WB)


-          the emergence of norms and principles in favor of development needs to be explained:

-          how to explain assistance that does not reflect economic or security interests?