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Horta, Korinna (2000) The politics of policy and practice: International financial institutions and biodiversity. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is concerned with the accountability of public international financial institutions to their constituencies at global and local geographic scales. It investigates the compliance of the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with their own environmental and social policies as they relate to biodiversity protection. While the World Bank and the GEF pursue a global environmental agenda, their environmental and social policies commit the institutions to building bridges between the global and the local levels by requiring the participation of locally affected communities in decision-making. The study investigates the compliance with the policies in a specific geographic, political and economic space. Cameroon was chosen because both institutions consider the country's biodiversity to be of global significance and are financing operations which have indirect and direct impacts on its biodiversity. The operations investigated include World Bank macro-economic policy advice and traditional investments in infrastructure projects as well as a GEF project specifically designed to protect biodiversity. The central finding of this research is that the institutions comply only partially and in an uneven manner with their own mandatory policy guidelines. In order to mitigate the risk of studying the institutions' operations in only one country and to ascertain possible systemic patterns of institutional behaviour, the results of the case studies are contrasted with the institutions internal evaluation reports covering their overall portfolios. A political ecology approach to international financial institutions is used to examine the political factors behind the emergence of the institutions' biodiversity agenda and the implementation of their operational policies. Analytical tools from both political science and the areas of sociology and economics concerned with theory of organization are employed to further the understanding of the functioning of the global institutions. Finally, the thesis seeks to contribute to defining the characteristics of global institutions which can mediate between the global and local levels by creating spaces of negotiation in which a plurality of views are taken into account.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:05

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