The Governance of the IMF: The Need for Comprehensive Reform

G24 Technical Committee Meeting, Singapore

39 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2006

See all articles by Daniel Bradlow

Daniel Bradlow

University of Pretoria; American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: September 2006


This article argues that IMF's current governance arrangements suffer from being non responsive to key stakeholders, lack of accountability, non-representative decision making, lack of transparency, and poorly defined relations with other international organizations. These deficiencies have arisen because the IMF has failed to adapt its decision-making structure and procedures to its changing functions and role in the global economy. They have caused distortions in the IMF's relations with its member states, with non-state actors, and with other international organizations and problems with some of the IMF's interpretations of its articles. The article argues that the IMF cannot perform effectively until it corrects these problems in its governance and these distortions in its relations with its key stakeholders. It also includes a set of short, medium and long term reform proposals that, if adopted by the IMF, would make its decision-making procedures more compatible with its current functions and changed relations with its member states. They will also ensure that the IMF's own governance and decision making arrangements conform to the principle of good governance-transparency, predictability, participation, reasoned decision making, and accountability - that are applicable to all public institutions at both the national and international level.

Keywords: international organizations, international governance, international administrative law

JEL Classification: F33, K33

Suggested Citation

Bradlow, Daniel David, The Governance of the IMF: The Need for Comprehensive Reform (September 2006). G24 Technical Committee Meeting, Singapore, Available at SSRN: or

Daniel David Bradlow (Contact Author)

University of Pretoria ( email )

Physical Address Economic and Management Sciences
Pretoria, Gauteng 0002
South Africa

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

International Legal Studies Program
4801 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-274-4205 (Phone)
202-274-4116 (Fax)


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