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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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Congressional Advocacy Toward International Organizations

Congressional Advocacy Toward International Organizations

(p.16) 1 Congressional Advocacy Toward International Organizations
Legislating International Organization

Kathryn C. Lavelle

Oxford University Press

In presenting the argument of the book, Chapter 1 questions how the IMF and World Bank have been able to receive support from Congress despite formidable opposition. Congress is unique among legislatures in advanced, industrial democracies because it is open to interest groups by design, and because the separation of powers in the American Constitution makes it protective of its independent budgetary discretion. The author contends that exogenous shocks from the international political economy prompt individual members of Congress to use the levers available in the legislature to advocate for specific changes in international organization, through what she terms is a process of “congressional advocacy.” Others may organize in opposition, or the IMF or World Bank may preempt legislation with their own changes. Over time, the groups involved in this process have become enmeshed in global activist networks, and the institution of Congress has also evolved. The chapter reviews the formal and informal levers that have been associated with these domestic and international changes. It then explores the theoretical implications for this study in American politics concerning members of Congress as policy makers, and in international relations concerning external influences on international organizations.

Keywords:   Congress, members of Congress as policy makers, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Constitution, budgetary discretion, congressional advocacy, global activist networks

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