Document Type



Published in: George Washington International Law Review, Vol. 37, pp. 167-205, 2005


This essay suggests means by which the international financial institutions (IFIs), the IBRD and the IMF in particular, and indeed "globalization" more generally might be rendered more friendly to humanity. The key, it suggests, lies in a subtle shift in perspective, a "gestalt-switch": It is to move from thinking in terms of political and macroeconomic aggregates - nations and gross national products - to thinking in terms of the individuals who constitute nations and produce national products - those the essay calls the "intended beneficiaries" of globalization.

Thinking in terms of those beneficiaries and their equal claims to our concern feeds immediately into consideration of what individuals bear equal rights to. And thinking about the latter, in turn, feeds directly into recognition that it is opportunity to participate in and contribute productively to the process of global economic growth that should be equitably spread.

But opportunity of this sort is a paradigmatically financial category, hence one that falls squarely within the IFIs' bailiwick. The essay accordingly discusses opportunity-spreading and risk-sharing policies and programs that would not only be consistent with the IFIs' treaty-created constitutive mandates, but also would push the world more fully toward justice and prosperity alike.

Date of Authorship for this Version

September 2006


International financial institutions

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Economics Commons