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International Economic Institutions and Individual Accountability

Thu, August 30, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Hynes, 201


In the aftermath of the recent Global Recession, calls have multiplied around the world for holding those individuals whose actions contributed to the crisis accountable. But to what extent has this principle taken hold in the international economic agenda? While different countries have taken actions to identify and punish key individuals in the financial industry and in government, little attention has been paid towards the response of key international economic institutions. This paper surveys the policy frameworks of four major international economic organisations - the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the Financial Stability Board. Our analysis shows the limitations in the extent to which these institutions have come to recommend measures to hold individuals in the financial industry and in government directly accountable for actions contributing to financial and economic crises. In explaining this outcome, we investigate how the adoption of individual accountability norms in the international economic sphere has been mediated and hindered by the bureaucratic culture, organisational remit, and internal culture of different international economic institutions.