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Do International Organizations Really Shape Government Solutions in Developing Countries?


  • Andrews, Matt

    (Harvard University)


International organizations like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have been supporting reform initiatives in developing country governments since at least the 1980s. Various authors have criticized this support, arguing that international organizations use their influence to impose common models of government on developing countries--infringing on the sovereignty of these nations and frustrating domestic processes of finding and fitting government structures to local contexts. Some suggest that a modern new public management model of government is being imposed on developing countries, whereas others claim that developing countries are being forced to adopt a broad-brush neoliberal script. Such claims are seldom reinforced by empirical evidence showing the extent or nature of this influence, however. This leaves one asking, "Do international organizations really shape government solutions in developing countries?" This article explores such question and finds that international organizations do have a major (and growing) influence on government structures in developing countries and that this influence does impose a common model on these countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrews, Matt, 2013. "Do International Organizations Really Shape Government Solutions in Developing Countries?," Working Paper Series rwp13-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-032

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrews,Matt, 2013. "The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107016330, March.
    2. Andrews, Matthew R., 2009. "Isomorphism and the Limits to African Public Financial Management Reform," Scholarly Articles 4415942, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Ha-Joon Chang, 2003. "Kicking Away the Ladder: Infant Industry Promotion in Historical Perspective 1," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 21-32.
    4. Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Aid dependence and the quality of governance : a cross-country empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2396, The World Bank.
    5. Andrews, Matt, 2009. "Isomorphism and the Limits to African Public Financial Management Reform," Working Paper Series rwp09-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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