An Enduring Need: Multilateralism in the Twenty-First Century

Posted: 25 Jun 2008

See all articles by Anne O. Krueger

Anne O. Krueger

International Monetary Fund (IMF); Stanford University - Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: Autumn 2007


That the global economy has been hugely successful over the past 50 years is unquestionable. A major underpinning of that success has been the open multilateral system, which has enabled the emergence of a truly international financial system, reciprocal reduction of trade barriers, and the emergence of many previously poor countries into the status of emerging markets or even developed . The open multilateral system, however, is increasingly under-appreciated and taken for granted. Preferential trading arrangements have proliferated, and with them the possibility of discriminatory arrangements for capital flows. The absence of an international regime for capital flows permits this development and poses a threat to the system, as do all of the issues on which countries' governments assert their interests, and ignore their interests in the overall health of the system. It is to be hoped that the benefits of multilateralism are more greatly appreciated, and that the current trend toward increasing regionalism and departures from the post-war system is reversed.

Keywords: multilateralism, global economy, trade liberalization, global financial stability, F02, F33

Suggested Citation

Krueger, Anne O., An Enduring Need: Multilateralism in the Twenty-First Century (Autumn 2007). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 335-346, 2007, Available at SSRN: or

Anne O. Krueger (Contact Author)

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