Towards an International Regulatory Framework?

Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Thus far, to the extent that the book has ventured into development-oriented issues or debates, the exercise has been driven by the presence of clear-cut trade-related linkages, ultimately to the regulation of public procurement. As we have seen, the OECD work on bribery and corruption that proceeded from the 1996 Recommendation on Anti-Corruption Proposals for Bilateral Aid Procurement was largely the outcome of a quest to contribute to a more internationally stable and fair business environment. Its result — tightly constrained to the so-called supply-side of the regulatory equation and limited to ‘grand’, or economically significant corruption — was a legally binding treaty amongst OECD members criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions, and providing for an innovative peer-review monitoring system to reinforce professional accountability for the effective application of these rules at the domestic level (see Appendix 3).


United Nations Development Program Public Procurement Essential Medicine Capacity Development Social Accountability 
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  1. 2.
    The fact that the 2006 Revisions remain provisional is an important caveat here. Technically, they will stay this way until the coverage negotiations that are currently underway have been completed. See the discussion in R. D. Anderson, ‘Renewing the WTO agreement on government procurement: progress to date and ongoing negotiations’, Public Procurement Law Review vol. 16, no. 4 (2007) pp. 255–273.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Legal scholars have recently started to evaluate the nature of this exception. See the discussion in A. La Chimia and S. Arrowsmith, ‘Addressing tied aid: towards a more development-oriented WTO?’, J Int Economic Law, vol. 12 (2009).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    A recent article by Christopher Yukins described key trends that are contributing to this process. See C. R. Yukins and S. L. Schooner, Incrementalism: eroding the impediments to a global public procurement market, Working Paper No. 320 (Geo Washington University Law School Working Paper, 2007).Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    There are traditionally two ways of understanding ‘popular sovereignty’: The first views states’ ultimate responsibility in terms of duties to the people as individuals whereas the second privileges the rights of a self-identifying group to govern itself as a separate political entity. We will focus on the former. See the discussion in J. S. Barkin and B. Cronin, ‘The state and the nation: changing norms and the rules of sovereignty in international relations’, International Organization, vol. 48 (1994).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    An example of the latter would be the World Bank’s so-called SWAps, or sector-wide assistance programs. They provide parallel administrative structures that effectively by-pass those of the aid-recipient country completely. See the discussion in J. M. M. Akech, ‘Development partners and governance of public procurement in Kenya: enhancing democracy in the administration of aid’, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, vol. 37 (2005).Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    This section draws extensively from the discussion in A. Fraser, ‘Aid Recipient Sovereignty in Historical Perspective’, in L. Whitfield (ed.), The politics of aid (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), A. Fraser and L. Whitfield, ‘Understanding Contemporary Aid Relationships’, in L. Whitfield (ed.), The politics of aid: African strategies for dealing with donors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).Google Scholar
  7. Summarizing Lancaster’s Foreign Aid (2007), Whitfield and Frazer report that donors commonly give aid for many purposes in addition to development, including: diplomatic, commercial, humanitarian and cultural ends. See L. Whitfield and A. Fraser, ‘Negotiating Aid’, in L. Whitfield (ed.), The politics of aid: African strategies for dealing with donors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009b).Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Key emerging donors include China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Venezuela, India, Kuwait and Brazil. See the discussion in N. Woods, ‘Whose aid? Whose influence? China, emerging donors and the silent revolution in development assistance’, International Affairs, vol. 84 (2008). It should be mentioned herein that reliable statistics concerning the volume of aid from these countries is not always available, particularly for China and India.Google Scholar
  9. See the discussion in R. Manning, ‘Will “emerging donors” change the face of international co-operation?’, Development Policy Review, vol. 24 (2006).Google Scholar
  10. 20.
    There is an extensive, empirically backed literature on the ‘resource curse’, or what T.L. Karl termed the ‘paradox of plenty’. As summarized by Ölcer, it illustrates a relationship between resource endowments and negative economic growth and corruption, a heightened risk for conflict and civil war, and fragile democratic institutions. See Ibid., OECD Working Paper No. 276. Other sources include: T. L. Karl, The paradox of plenty: oil booms and petro-states (Berkeley; London: University of California Press, 1997)Google Scholar
  11. J. D. Sachs and A. M. Warner, ‘Natural resource abundance and economic growth’, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series, vol. No. 5398 (1995)Google Scholar
  12. M. L. Ross, ‘Does oil hinder democracy?’, World Politics, vol. 53 (2001)Google Scholar
  13. M. Humphreys, ‘Natural resources, conflict, and conflict resolution: uncovering the mechanisms’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 49 (2005).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Susan Brown-Shafii 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.World Trade InstituteUniversity of BernSwitzerland

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