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Losing the Global Development War

A Contemporary Critique of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO

John Head

This book offers a new perspective in examining the key global economic organizations - the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank (and its regional counterparts), and the World Trade Organization. Aimed at ordinary informed readers, the text draws upon the author's many years of familiarity with these organizations to evaluate them from a legal and policy perspective, touching on issues of "mission creep," "democracy deficit," and more. The book depicts such issues as the central struggles in a "Global Development War" that is now being lost because of certain ideological and institutional failings that currently afflict the global institutions. That war can be won, the author asserts, only by adopting an ideology of liberal, intelligent, participatory, multilateral, and sustainable human development.
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The Future of the Global Economic Organizations

An Evaluation of Criticisms Leveled at the IMF, the Multilateral Development Banks, and the WTO

John Head

This book offers a skilled arms-length evaluation, from a legal perspective, of the main criticisms that have been leveled recently at the key global economic organizations – that is, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and its fellow multilateral developmental banks (MDBs), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
THE FUTURE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORGANIZATIONS stands out from most of the growing body of literature on the IMF, MDBS, and the WTO in two main respects: the book’s scope and the author’s experience. Whereas numerous commentators have focused on particular strengths and weaknesses of one or the other of the GEOs, and have argued for changes on the basis of specific areas of operation, this book takes a wider view to examine all the GEOs at once. This broader scope reveals commonalities in the criticisms. For example, complaints about so-called “democracy deficit” obviously can be applied to all GEOs but with different nuances in emphasis and sting.
Against the background of his own experience as a legal counsel for one of the regional MDBs and for the IMF and a legal career that has focused on international economic law, Head distills the swarm of complaints leveled at the IMF, MDBS, and the WTO into 25 specific criticisms and then offers succinct explanations of why some of those criticisms should be dismissed, why some of them are valid, and how those valid criticisms should form the basis for an important restructuring of the institutions, including amendments to the charters that establish and govern their operations.
Head speaks largely to three audiences here: persons in various professional positions; persons in national governments and politics around the world who are responsible for implementing their government’s foreign policy; and to more general curious readers on whose involvement in civic life any society ultimately depends.

Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
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Quan Hua, Mike Barbetti, Martin Worbes, John Head and Vladimir A. Levchenko

A summary of 14C data from atmospheric sampling and measurements on wood from annual tree rings for the period 1945-1997 AD is presented and evaluated. Atmospheric records are characterized by different distributions of bomb-test 14C between the Northem and Southem Hemispheres, latitude dependence, and seasonal fluctuations. Radiocarbon data from tree rings are summarised and plotted against atmospheric records from similar latitudes. In some cases, discrepancies are found. Possible reasons for this include: 1) the use of stored carbohydrate from the previous year, 2) different 14C levels in the air around subcanopy trees due to respiration of CO2, 3) regional and local effects of anthropogenic CO2 and 14C sources, 4) sampling of wood material too close to ring boundaries, and 5) insufficient pretreatment of tree ring sampies for dating. But in cases where trees were carefully selected and the sampies adequately pretreated, radiocarbon data from tree rings show excellent agreement with direct atmospheric sampling records.