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Multilateralism, global development: unpacking the megatrends
chapterposted on 2020-05-13, 00:00 authored by Max KellyMax Kelly, Jonathan Makuwira
This chapter delves into the complex interlinkages between multilateralism and development theory and practice. The emergence of a multilateral development system from the Bretton Woods conference was driven by the political and economic conditions of the time. The agreement reached at the conference led to the creation of a new post-WWII international monetary order aiming to prevent economic and monetary problems and provide a system ensuring financial and monetary stability and promoting global economic and international trade. A further aim was to provide aid to reconstruct devastated post-WWII economies and to stimulate international economic cooperation. The intervening 75 years have seen a number of ideological changes, both within the political and economic ideology, as well as in the theory and practice of international aid and development. This chapter tracks these megatrends and considers how these contribute to the existing challenges to the multilateral development system, whether they may lose some or all of their global relevance and supremacy. The chapter argues that neoliberal forms of ‘Western’ multilateralism and the multilateral institutions face serious threats.