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Justice, the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Problem of Inequality


Frank J. Garcia


Boston College - Law School

June 10, 2008

TRANSCENDING THE OSTENSIBLE: DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN THE WTO LEGAL SYSTEM, Chantal Thomas, Joel P. Trachtman, eds., Oxford University Press, 2008
Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 158

Abstract:     
The Bretton Woods Institutions are, together with the WTO, the preeminent international institutions devoted to managing international economic relations. This mandate puts them squarely in the center of the debate concerning development, inequality and global justice. While the normative analysis of the WTO is gaining momentum, the systematic normative evaluation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is comparatively less developed. This essay aims to contribute to that nascent inquiry. How might global justice criteria apply to the ideology and operations of the Bank and Fund? Political theory offers an abundance of perspectives from which to conduct such an analysis; this essay will focus on Rawls' theory of Justice as Fairness adapted to international institutions by the author in connection with the WTO, and extend it to the remaining "legs" of the Bretton Woods "stool." This essay will ask what difference it would make for the Bank and Fund if an explicit global justice framework informed their international lending activities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: global social policy, IMF, World Bank Group, WGB, international justice, economics

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Date posted: June 11, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Garcia, Frank J., Justice, the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Problem of Inequality (June 10, 2008). ; Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 158. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1143446

Contact Information

Frank Joseph Garcia (Contact Author)
Boston College - Law School ( email )
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States
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