International Organizations and Organizational Fields: Explaining Policy Changes in the IMF

Antje Vetterlein, Manuela Moschella

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    The purpose of this paper is to account for varieties of organizational change. In particular, we contend that in order to explain change in international organizations (IOs) we cannot simply dichotomize between change and the lack thereof. Rather, change is best conceptualized as made up of two dimensions: speed and scope. The combination of the two dimensions leads to a taxonomy with four distinct types of policy change. The paper evaluates the emergence of different types of change by focusing on the relationship between IOs and their fields. Specifically, the position of the organization in the field helps to account for the speed of change (slow vs. rapid), whereas the openness of the organization to the inputs coming from the field helps to explain the scope of change (incremental vs. radical). We illustrate our argument by comparing the changes in the International Monetary Fund's policies in the areas of financial sector surveillance and poverty reduction.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Political Science Review
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)143-165
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

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