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Legislating International OrganizationThe US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank$
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Kathryn C. Lavelle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765348.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Legislating International Organization

Kathryn C. Lavelle

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter lays out the rationale for the study of the relationship between Congress and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. It proposes the concept of congressional advocacy as a means wherein lawmakers use the institutional levers of the legislature to influence policy outcomes in international organizations. The introduction then outlines the chapters of the book. Each empirical chapter presents the history of a stage in the relationship that resulted from the combination of internal change in the institution of Congress with external changes in the international political economy. Congress has been the most supportive of the Bretton Woods institutions when their work advances that of the financial services industry and multinational corporations. It has been the least supportive when the IMF and World Bank lack a domestic constituency working on their behalf. The collapse of traditional support thus poses a challenge to the future of economic multilateralism in domestic American politics.

Keywords:   Congress, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, congressional advocacy, international organizations, Bretton Woods institutions, financial services industry, multinational corporations, constituencies, economic multilateralism

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