Reconciling rhetoric and reality : putting "development" at the centre of the game
University of British Columbia
Master of Laws - LLM
The thesis looks into factors that have resulted in the failure of Washington Consensus policies prescribed by International Financial Institutions (IFIs). The IFIs consider free trade, investment, privatization, and deregulation as key to removing impediments to the development of host countries. From a Law and Development perspective, the thesis argues for review of these policies, and suggests reforms in the institutional design, governance, and redefined role of IFIs and national governments. At host countries’ current stage of development the adoption of free trade policies based on comparative advantage will lock them in dead end professions or industries with low rates of return, and they will no longer be competitive in industrial production and international trade. After providing historical analysis of the economic policies of the developed countries the thesis argues that developed countries selectively adopted free trade to achieve their economic goals. The developing countries should also selectively structure creative protectionist and free trade policies. The thesis presents Pakistan as a case study and argues that in Pakistan’s specific non-economic circumstances IFIs need to acknowledge the redefined role of the state and facilitate a rule based, institutionalized, public-private partnership model. If privatization and deregulation are considered a panacea to address Pakistan’s governance and development problems, then it needs to be done in the right way. The thesis conducts comparative analysis of privatization and deregulation in the telecommunication and banking sectors of Pakistan, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and highlights the importance of legal and institutional design in the pre- and post-privatization eras to achieve the desired goals. In the light of the comparative studies the thesis argues for reforms in the Privatization Act and incorporation of an Appellate Court/Tribunal to review privatization transactions in Pakistan. The thesis argues that instead of ranking host countries on the pace of their privatization, the IFIs rank them on how they privatize by incorporating good governance principles in conditions associated with their development mandate. The IFIs need to follow good governance in their own governance structure as well through proper representation of developing countries.
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