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By Jan Scholte

This key text brings jointly twenty activists, officers and researchers from the 5 continents to debate this burning query of brand new globalization debate. supplying infrequent, authoritative analyses via those that care for the problems first hand, Civil Society and worldwide Finance is wealthy in perception and coverage principles for decision-makers, scholars and anxious electorate.

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Additional info for Civil Society and Global Finance (Routledge Warwick Studies in Globalisation)

Sample text

As the work of the OECD, IOSCO, and IAIS illustrates, intergovernmental collaboration in respect of global finance is being increasingly institutionalized in permanent suprastate bodies. The oldest such agency, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), dates back to 1930, but it has become especially active in recent decades. The voting membership of the BIS has increased to 45 national central banks, and the institution has other dealings with several score more. The BIS convenes several influential working groups, including the Committee on the Global Financial System and the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems.

Fourth, civil society engagement of global finance might have negligible or detrimental effects if the governance institutions concerned are ill-equipped to handle CSO inputs. Regulatory agencies may lack relevant staff expertise, adequate funds, suitable procedures, or the necessary receptive attitudes to take advantage of the benefits on offer from civil society. Officials can make innumerable mistakes in their dealings with civil society associations. They can treat the dialogue as a public relations exercise, or focus their contacts on sympathetic groups to the exclusion of critics, or dismiss out of hand civil society accounts that challenge “expert” knowledge, or expect immediate results when relationships require time to mature.

Civil society can make important contributions to better governance of global finance. CSOs can advance public education, provide platforms, fuel debate, increase transparency and accountability, improve material welfare, promote social cohesion, and enhance legitimacy. Of course, civil society does not provide a complete answer. Improvements in global finance require not only quality inputs from CSOs, but also the will and capacity for change in official quarters and market circles. However, positive interventions from adequately resourced and suitably accountable civil society can bring much good to global finance, particularly in current circumstances of largely ad hoc and experimental governance arrangements.

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