IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Policy coordination by major Western powers in bargaining with the Third World: debt relief and the Common Fund


  • Crane, Barbara B.


The governments of the five major Western powers—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, and Japan—coordinated policy on two key North-South issues from 1974 to 1979: relieving the external debts of developing nations and establishing the Common Fund to help finance international commodity agreements. A prominent feature of the coordination process was the emergence of transgovernmental coalitions among like-minded bureaucrats. Previous studies have suggested that such coalitions may affect national policies by promoting learning and attitude change in their members and by legitimizing the policy changes sought by their members. But these suggestions do not account for the ability of coalitions to translate their policy preferences into national policy commitments, particularly where one or more of their members are relatively weak in their national policy-making systems. On the Common Fund and debt relief, some coalition members held positions in their national systems strong enough to induce their governments as a whole to commit themselves to certain concessions. Weaker members of these coalitions then gained the external support they needed to lead their own governments to make similar commitments, thus preparing the way for agreements with the developing countries and some incremental changes in the international economic order.

Suggested Citation

  • Crane, Barbara B., 1984. "Policy coordination by major Western powers in bargaining with the Third World: debt relief and the Common Fund," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(03), pages 399-428, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:38:y:1984:i:03:p:399-428_02

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Sgard, 2011. "The IMF Meets Commercial Banks: Sovereign Debt Restructuring between 1970 and 1989," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:38:y:1984:i:03:p:399-428_02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.