Pragmatic numbers: how the IMF creates policy dialogue for financial reform
Chaudhary, Swati and Seabrooke, Leonard (2009) Pragmatic numbers: how the IMF creates policy dialogue for financial reform. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.261).
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Do international organizations generate benchmarks and data as tools for policy enforcement or as tools of knowledge creation? This paper suggests the latter through a case study on the power of numbers in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP). While the IMF is typically viewed as an institution that enforces global standards for economic governance through the imposition of quantitative targets (‘numbers’), we suggest that its use of benchmarking tools through the generation of financial data actually serves as knowledge creation tool for policy dialogue. As such, the IMF’s program practices differ from their policy proclamations on the need for universal standards and transparency. Seen through a pragmatist lens, as often found in economic sociology, the IMF seeks to generate ‘learning by monitoring’ with member states within its broader international political and economic constraints. This process must yield to broader principal-agent dynamics in the IMF’s governance structure, as well as tip its cap to private market actors. But it is also not hostage to them. We suggest that the IMF’s use of ‘pragmatic numbers’ within FSAPs demonstrates one method by which an institution seeks to foster learning within an environment of noise and domination.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Alternative Title:||Pragmatic numbers: how the International Monetary Fund creates policy dialogue for financial reform|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JZ International relations
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||International Monetary Fund, Intergovernmental fiscal relations, Policy sciences, Knowledge management, Pragmatism|
|Series Name:||Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation)|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Official Date:||July 2009|
|Number of Pages:||25|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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