Abstract and Keywords
This article elaborates the role of Intergovernmental Organizations (IO) in domestic social policy. It concentrates on the welfare state in countries which are democratic and economically relatively developed. It describes those IOs which are most relevant for national welfare states in developed nations: the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The descriptions of these IOs focus on their organizational structures and systems of decision-making, and on their official goals and tasks. It then covers the modes and means by which IOs attempt to have an impact on national welfare states. Finally, it examines the influence of IOs on national welfare states, the strategic interactions between IOs and domestic political actors, and the question of soft versus hard law.
Keywords: World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Labour Organization, domestic social policy, national welfare states
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