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The aim of this subject is to study the legal, regulatory and policy architecture of international public finance. International public finance is defined broadly as financial interventions or transactions executed by a state or state entity or international or regional organisations acting on behalf of states to achieve particular public policy outcomes, including poverty reduction, social development, financial stability, environmental protection and humanitarian interventions.
Our focus is on understanding international public finance in the era of globalised and increasingly privatised financial transactions. We aim to study the different types of international public finance, their policy objectives, interventions and outcomes, and the implications of such financial flows on international and national financial stability and social, political and economic development and international relations. We will critically assess the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of international public finance as well as their economic and political rationale and regulatory and policy implications on the global economy.
The subject will also examine the various international and national players, including public and private entities, involved in the mobilisation and delivery of international public finance and the impact of their operations on financier and recipient states and their constituents. It will also study the different governance mechanisms of these organisations, including multilateral organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the New Development Bank (also known as the BRICs bank), the World Bank Group, and United Nations agencies as well as regional organisations such as the European Union and private foundations such as the Gates Foundation.
It will also consider the architecture of the so-called ‘global financial safety net’, the institutions and mechanisms aimed at preventing, mitigating and resolving financial crises, as well as the law and governance of sovereign debt.
Principal topics will include:
- Introduction to International Public Finance,
- Regulatory Framework for International Public Finance and Development Co-operation,
- Multilateral Development Finance and Global Public Goods,
- Bilateral Aid and Public Finance,
- Blended Finance and Public-Private Partnerships,
- Accountability of International Public Finance,
- Global Financial Stability and International Public Finance,
- Sovereign Debt Law and Governance.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- Identify and explain the rationale, purpose and background of international public finance,
- Identify and distinguish between the key institutions and processes involved in the international architecture of public finance,
- Explain and analyse international public financial flows and the operations of the main international, regional and national actors involved in the mobilisation and delivery of international public finance,
- Critically evaluate the legal, regulatory and policy framework of international public finance and the impact of their operations on state, communities and the broader global economy,
- Critically analyse contemporary and future trajectories of international public finance in light of current trends and developments and future impacts.
- Research skills, including constructing research questions, developing a plan for researching topics, undertaking research from primary and secondary sources, analysing and prioritising information/ data from research and applying them to answering research questions and constructing academic debates,
- Writing skills, including formulating scholarly work, constructing arguments, adhering to good academic practice and academic writing conventions, and proof-reading and editing manuscripts,
- Advocacy and communication skills, including developing, constructing and supporting arguments verbally and in written form, engaging in academic and policy debates, translating complex and technical academic and policy information into accessible content and communicating ideas in small and large groups.
Last updated: 10 November 2023