Can finance and market driven (FMD) interventions make “weak states” stronger? Lessons from the good governance norm complex in Cambodia

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In the last 25 years, a range of scholars have endeavored to understand the creation of a myriad of transnational finance and market driven (FMD) governance interventions aimed at countries in the Global South who are asserted to suffer from "weak state" capacity or contain areas of “limited statehood”. This class of policy tools remains the dominant approach with which to foster improved governance in domestic settings in spite of a quarter century of frustrations over the pace and scale of change. We assess the ability of a good governance norm complex to help explain the persistent support of FMD tools in which countervailing or unanticipated impacts are viewed as the result of faulty design, rather than owing to the inherent contradictions of the complex itself. We illustrate the argument through a historical assessment of FMD tools in general, and the emergence in the last decade of “legality verification” in particular. We focus on Cambodia's forest sector to identify how policy designers might better anticipate the effects of the EU's “Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade” (FLEGT) program on the variety of countervailing problems it is charged with improving.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106689
JournalEcological Economics
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 245713367