International Financial Institutions and Transformative Constitutionalism in Latin America: The Case of the World Bank

The social impact of international financial institutions in Latin America is ambivalent and highly controversial. This Paper engages with the World Bank from the perspective of transformative constitutionalism, as understood by the Ius Constitutionale Commune en América Latina project. It proceeds in three steps. Based on an overview of how the World Bank’s activities in the region have evolved over time, the paper identifies, first, key tensions with the objectives and principles of the aforesaid constitutionalism. Drawing on a public law approach as an analytical framework, it examines, next, key instruments through which the Bank exercises authority and impacts policy-making in relevant areas. On this basis, several options are explored which could reduce the identified tensions and potentially facilitate a rapprochement between the World Bank’s instruments, on the one hand, and the objectives and principles of transformative constitutionalism in the region, on the other.