The global financial crisis of 2007/2008 set in motion a period of transformations in global economic governance: established actors—like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund—now face competition, while newly-minted South-led organizations—like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement—seek to leave their mark on the field. At the same time, the proliferation of bilateral trade agreements, in particular mega-regional trade arrangements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in Asia, have the potential to rapidly transform the structure and functioning of the global trading system.
The Global Economic Governance research project interrogates how rising powers seek to reshape the structure of this policy field, and how they interact with each other and other state or non-state actors. Members of the research cluster explore these issues with reference to five key themes:
- Development and infrastructure financing: Research areas include South-led development and infrastructure financing institutions (like the NDB and AIIB), the activities of rising powers vis-à-vis the governance and operations of the World Bank, and the interactions between rising powers and regional development banks.
- Trade: Research focuses on the impact of rising powers in the governance of the WTO, the causes of their bilateral and regional trade agreements, the consequences of these arrangements for the structure and functioning of the global trading system, and the role of rising powers in foreign direct investment flows and global value chains.
- International economic stability: Research areas include how rising powers have tried to reshape the IMF and assert greater voice in its operations (both in relation to country lending and the organization’s policy ideas, for example on capital account management), the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, and the dysfunctionalities and legacies of the Chiang Mai Initiative.
- Global private regulation of standards: Research areas include how rising powers interact with private non-market regulatory bodies (like the International Organization for Standardization for product regulation and the International Accounting Standards Board for financial reporting), and whether and how they have tried to influence their operations or create alternatives.
- Industrial policy: The East Asian development experience has informed and shaped the industrial policy choices of a number of rising powers. Research in this theme will investigate how rising powers have attempted to reshape the terms of international policy debates about industrial development.