International financial institutions such as the World Bank should be accountable – but to whom and for what? What role is there for legal and social normativity to influence, prescribe and assess behaviour and, ultimately, realize specific outcomes? How do we answer such questions in theory and how do we implement the answers to such questions in practice?
Focusing on the World Bank’s development-lending operations, this book considers these matters – specifically through the perspectives offered by the Bank’s citizen-driven accountability mechanism: the Inspection Panel. The book analyzes various interests, demands, expectations and conceptions surrounding the multidimensional notion of ‘accountability’ – thereby demonstrating why, in a diverse and dynamic world, accountability questions remain both relevant and challenging to answer conclusively. With its emphasis on theory and practice, this book is aimed both at researchers studying and practitioners working in transnational regulatory governance contexts involving multiple actors, politico-legal systems and forms of normativity. With its compendium of challenges characterizing Bank-financed development projects, this book can also introduce students of various disciplines to the operations of multilateral development banks.