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India and global governance: The politics of ambivalent reform

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This article examines India’s emergence in four institutions: the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations Security Council. The article demonstrates that while India’s reform diplomacy has consistently been pursued across these institutions, India has maintained the same approach to reform even after its position in certain institutions has improved. In explaining this condition, the article argues that Indian leaders strive to improve the country’s position in global governance but maintain that India has not yet reached a position through which it can unilaterally identify new objectives for reform. For this reason, India remains dependent upon coalitions with emerging powers and developing countries in order to exert influence in global governance. India’s solidarity with these coalitions conditions the adaptability of its reform agenda and prohibits the pursuit of diplomatic initiatives that do not address the collective interests of the global South.

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  1. According to the IMF, ‘Each member country of the IMF is assigned a quota, based broadly on its relative position in the world economy. A member country’s quota determines its maximum financial commitment to the IMF, its voting power, and has a bearing on its access to IMF financing’ (IMF, 2014). The World Bank uses IMF quotas for its own allocation of voted: ‘Each new member country of the Bank is allotted 250 votes plus one additional vote for each share it holds in the Bank's capital stock. The quota assigned by the Fund is used to determine the number of shares allotted to each new member country of the Bank’ (World Bank, 2014).


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Efstathopoulos, C. India and global governance: The politics of ambivalent reform. Int Polit 53, 239–259 (2016).

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