Theory and Society

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 459–484 | Cite as

The crisis of neoliberalism and the future of international institutions: A comparison of the IMF and the WTO

  • Nitsan ChorevEmail author
  • Sarah Babb


The current crisis of neoliberalism is calling into question the relevance of key international institutions. We analyze the origins, nature, and possible impacts of the crisis through comparing two such institutions: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Both originated in the post-World War II U.S.-led hegemonic order and were transformed as part of the transition to global neoliberalism. We show that while the IMF and the WTO have been part of the same hegemonic project, their distinct institutional features have put them on significantly different trajectories. Historical differences in the two institutions’ systems of rules have placed the IMF in a more vulnerable position than the WTO, which provides clues to the future contours of global economic governance.


International Monetary Fund World Trade Organization Trade Liberalization Uruguay Round World Trade Organization Member 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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