GEG awarded $250,000 by the Ford Foundation

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GEG has been awarded a new grant of $250,000 by the Ford Foundation. The funding is for research and policy dialogue on how to better regulate global finance and knowledge. We start from the proposition that global rule-setting needs rebalancing – both to be more equitable, and more effective. The financial crisis highlighted that the financial services sector has tremendous lobbying power in major industrialized countries. For other voices to be heard, the rule-setting clubs need to be broken open – within nations and across them. 

The aim of the project is to open up new strategic choices for governments, particularly in developing countries. Our research and activities are demonstrating that global governance is not necessarily about the convergence of national policies, and that an effective global regime can strengthen the hand of governments to set their own priorities.

In this project we will focus on overlaps between the global regulatory regimes that exist in finance, investment, intellectual property and trade, and the policy implications for developing countries. Global standards on banking for instance have been negotiated with little cognizance of existing banking-related commitments in multilateral and regional trade agreements.

The project has three research questions: 

1. What is the impact of Cross-Cutting Regulation? What are the main overlaps in global regulatory regimes in finance, investment, intellectual property and trade? To what extent are these diverse global standards and rules complementary or in contradiction to each other?

2. How Much Room for Manoeuvre is there for Developing Countries?: Do overlapping regulatory regimes provide developing country governments with additional ‘room for manoeuvre’ or and policy options, or do they pose additional constraints and foreclose policy options? Are flexibilities carved out in one regime but undercut by stringent commitments in another?

3. What is the agenda for reform? What should developing countries push for? Where are the political opportunities for reform? Which issues and negotiating fora should developing countries focus on? What are the political strategies that developing countries can adopt to influence the negotiation of global standards?