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Sustainable Development and the Use of Borrowing State Frameworks in the New World Bank Safeguards

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While judicial bodies have proliferated in the last fifty years in a process that has been deemed “quasi-anarchic” (Guillaume, G., 2000) creating a risk of inconsistency in their decisions which would endanger the international law system, quasi-judicial bodies such as Multilateral Development Banks' accountability mechanisms are not spared by this legal phenomenon. They have diverse proceedings and jurisdictions, operate with different sets of environmental and social safeguards, but may confront similar factual scenarios, especially in the case of co-financing. The recent Kenya Electricity Expansion Project presented before the World Bank and the European Investment Bank’s accountability mechanisms illustrates that, through a managerial approach, potentially conflicting findings can be avoided. This paper aims to show that quasi-judicial bodies can constitute a source of inspiration for the integrated development of international law.
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The World Bank Environmental and Social Framework in a wider realm of public international law - Volume 32 Issue 3 - Giedre Jokubauskaite
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This paper argues that there can be no category of ‘affected people’ without a decision-making process that triggers affectedness in the first place. In that sense, affectedness is a category that is by default, although not irreversibly, ‘tied’ to a certain institutional context. In this paper, I examine such ‘tied’ quality of affectedness by focusing on the benefits and dangers of the affectedness paradigm to grassroots organisations in the context of World Bank projects. Whilst in principle the category of ‘affected people’ seems to empower the grassroots, this article argues that the danger of institutional co-optation in this context is also high. The World Bank and its borrowers have full discretion to include, but also to exclude, people from this category. Therefore, the voices of grassroots organisations relying on this paradigm can be instrumentalised and distorted. This article suggests that mediation can help to ‘untie’ affectedness from the top-down institutional discourse, in order to create space for a more balanced dialogue between resistance groups and decision-makers.
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