Flashcards in NGOs Deck (3)
In conjunction with elements of an epistemic community, the NGO translocal networks have shaped the amplitude and sway of the international debt regime in important ways.
The three “genetic” strands of the triple helix – the institutions of the international debt regime, the NGO debt networks, and the epistemic community – has powerfully affected the way a number of African and other states function; it has intervened in the day-to-day operation of these states in very detailed ways. In their interaction with the international debt regime, the epistemic and NGO strands of the triple helix have helped to create new forms of governance at both the national and international levels.
The international debt regime strand of the triple helix can be characterized as an international arena. With its widely amplified norms and discourses, it constitutes an international public sphere made up primarily of states and international financial institutions.
Not all creditor countries resisted more debt relief, and some of those that did, did not do it all the time; sometimes they changed their minds. Over time the two major Bretton Woods institutions had quite varied views and played quite different roles in regard to debt issues. Not all NGOs supported HIPC I and HIPC II; many have refused to support them because of the very tight link to the often harsh and intrusive conditionalities of structural adjustment. Another lesson is that the NGOs with the best understanding of the international debt regime and the economics epistemic community were able to bring about the most change.
The dynamics of global economic governance at the WTO are changing. The changing membership and the role of NGOs are raising challenges to the way in which, and in whose interests, the WTO operates:
1. The compromise that created the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI) reflected the lack of consensus on negotiating investment rules at the WTO in 1996 and the ongoing efforts led by the United States to forge an investment agreement first at the OECD
2. opponents of investment rules were able, for a period, to stymie any progress toward a decision on negotiations in the working group. Ultimately, however, proponents could overcome enough opposition to at least insert a deadline for a future decision on investment and other Singapore issue negotiations into the Doha Declaration
3. WTO capacity-building program for DCs was a final key to overcome DCs reluctance for engaging in new negotiations
4. NGOs played a role in alternative capacity building and the articulating of ideas and knowledge about investment issues, which was intended to counter the claims of proponents about the link between multilateral investment rules and development and to strengthen developing-country opposition to negotiations
the growing challenge for proponents to make a convincing case for negotiations by linking development and multilateral investment rules in the WGTI and the increasing atmosphere of acrimony and frustration that reinforced develop ing-country opposition