Building Constituencies for the Bretton Woods Framework

Kathryn C. Lavelle

in Legislating International Organization

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765348
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918959 | DOI:
Building Constituencies for the Bretton Woods Framework

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This chapter explores the building stage of the relationships among Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank, along with their domestic constituencies in American politics. The exogenous change that facilitated this process was the gradual resumption of international lending after World War II when Citibank and Chase Manhattan extended their branch banking operations overseas. As the work programs of the IMF and World Bank evolved, they reached out to the corporate community and Wall Street, initially to enable securities legislation permitting the World Bank to raise capital domestically. The chapter argues that internationalists, together with banks and large corporations, forged a powerful bloc of support by promoting the Bretton Woods institutions as a rival development strategy to the communist one during the Cold War. The bloc subsequently assisted in passing legislation creating two new agencies under the umbrella of the World Bank Group, the International Development Association and the International Finance Corporation. An important mechanism of congressional advocacy in these years was the insertion of provisions in legislation creating them that influenced their early functioning.

Keywords: International Development Association; International Finance Corporation; Cold War; Wall Street; Citibank; Chase Manhattan Bank; securities legislation

Chapter.  10727 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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