Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

The 1944 Process

p. 11: In 1944, well before the end of the war but after the tide had turned, a series of international discussions were held at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC and Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to design the post-war international security and economic architecture. Governments assembled teams of people with governmental, academic and business backgrounds to engage in sustained discussions aimed at drawing fundamental lessons about the failures of the pre-war cooperation and designing new, more robust institutional arrangements. 


Readers' Guide Comment on "Governments assembled teams of people with governmental, academic and business backgrounds”:   

    
This history of the 1944 process overstates the role of business at Dumbarton Oaks and at Bretton Woods. The GRI process was not very similar in form or in the selection of participants to the post-World War II negotiations of the United Nations or the Bretton Woods Institutions. 1


WEF’s global governance system has been designed by a corporate-selected group of experts, not a nation-state lead process. Those invited to the GRI expert groups and conferences were largely affiliated with the corporate and academic worlds. Many of those not invited into the GRI process may well have views about the future of global decision-making system.     


In today’s world, WEF could have opened up the process with a public web-based comment system. In 1944, the war was still in progress. WEF instead chose to keep the whole process under wraps, as if it were a security matter, until the launch of Everyone’s Business at the completion of the process.


          Related Ideas: the WEF process; participation in the design; previous preparatory processes; democracy; missing issues
        

The Readers' Guide welcomes comments with alternative examples or counter examples, supplemental assessments of the extracted GRI text or commentary – critical or otherwise – of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective.

  • 1. ^ The World Bank and the IMF are collectively called the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) after the New Hampshire town where the final negotiations on their charters were completed.

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