What International Organizations Do, and Why They Do It

Paul Cammack


International organizations work to develop production and exchange (and productivity and competitiveness) on a global scale, in ways that vary from time to time in accordance with the state of the world market as a whole and from place to place in accordance with the situation of individual states. In recent decades the focus on productivity and competitiveness on a world-wide scale has intensified, prompting a conjunctural focus on responses to the ‘global financial crisis’, and a deeper strategic focus on ‘structural reforms’. The latter focus on extending global value chains, promoting industrial policy, pursuing the formalization of labour, reforming labour markets and social protection, and lowering barriers to trade, in ways that reflect the ‘completion of the world market’ in terms of exchange. Against this background the World Bank’s 2015 World Development Report, Mind, Society and Behavior, exemplifies the principal objective of current global policy – to induce people around the world to conform in thought and behaviour to the requirements of globally competitive capitalism. It is seen as the logical culmination and the cutting edge of twenty-five years of increasingly focused and coordinated work on the part of the international institutions charged with governing the global economy.

Key Words: International Organizations, the World Market, WDR 2015, Poverty and Development

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