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Accountability in Global Governance: Civil Society Claims for Environmental Performance at the World Bank

Abstract

© 2014 International Studies Association. International organizations frequently lack accountability to both states and civil society groups. States often face difficulties monitoring the actions of international organizations. Civil society groups do not often enjoy direct influence over decision-making within international organizations. To address these challenges, states have created accountability mechanisms for international organizations. Accountability mechanisms allow civil society groups to submit complaints about the performance of international organizations. They take the form of ombudsmen offices, accountability panels, and complaint procedures. Little is known about when and why these mechanisms constrain behavior by international organizations that runs counter to the mutual interests of states and civil society groups. Using the World Bank Inspection Panel as a test case, I show that monitoring by civil society groups alters lending at the World Bank when it enhances oversight by powerful states. By combining their abilities in sanctioning and monitoring, states and civil society groups can promote accountability at international organizations.

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