Power structures and regional development banks
This paper examines the experience of developing countries in the three major regional financial institutions, the Inter-American, Asian, and African Development Banks. In the Inter-American Development Bank, members from developing countries have secured both influence and resources; in the Asian Development Bank they have secured resources but little influence; in the African Development Bank they have influence but limited resources. This variation can be explained by the different issue area power structures within which the banks function. The Inter-American Development Bank has functioned within a hegemonic structure. The dominant power, the United States, pursued long-term political objectives and accepted considerable autonomy for developing countries within the Bank. The Asian Development Bank has functioned within a bipolar structure with Japan playing an increasingly important role. As a normal power, Japan has pursued tangible economic interests and has constrained the behavior of the Asian Development Bank. Until the late 1970s the African Development Bank functioned in a multipolar structure that largely excluded nonregional countries. This exclusion made it impossible to generate substantial resources. Experience in the regional development banks suggests that a hegemonic structure can offer weaker states both resources and influence provided that the milieu goals of the dominant power are not violated.
Volume (Year): 35 (1981)
Issue (Month): 02 (March)
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