Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics 2019 Multilateralism: Past, Present, and Future

17-18 june 2019

Washington, DC

Bretton Woods Conference
  • The Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), organized by the World Bank’s Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency, is one of the world's best-known series of conferences for the presentation and discussion of new knowledge on development. The conference aims to promote the exchange of cutting-edge knowledge among researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners.

    The next conference will take place on June 17–18, 2019 at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The theme of the conference will be "Multilateralism: Past, Present, and Future”. The 2019 ABCDE conference will be part of a series of events scheduled to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference.

  • In July 1944, representatives from 44 countries met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish a system of global cooperation to foster global economic growth and international trade and overcome the perceived problems of the interwar period (protectionism, currency wars, unstable exchange rates, among others). The conference led to the establishment of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the precursor of the World Trade Organization. Over these 75 years, this system of global cooperation has evolved, as emerging economies have gained power and new issues, such as climate change, have arisen. Meanwhile, a backlash against globalization has led to widespread political movements hostile to economic integration and existing political arrangements, questioning global commitments to international cooperation and its institutions. The ABCDE Organizing Committee is issuing a call for innovative papers that examine how global public goods and cross-country spillovers influence multilateralism or will shape multilateralism in the years to come; and how cooperative arrangements can affect the evolution of these global public goods and spillovers. Possible topics in this area are:

    • Trade
    • Climate Change
    • Pandemics
    • Financial Stability, Capital Flows and Exchange Rates
    • Migration
    • Data Collection
    • Conflict

    Of interest also are papers on the history of Bretton Woods, its institutions, and governing arrangements. Papers that do not fit into these categories, but are related to the main conference theme, are also welcome.

    The selected papers will be presented in the main sessions of the conference.

    Those interested should submit a complete paper (proposals will not be accepted) by March 24, 2019, 11:59 pm EST through the ABCDE website.

    The Organizing Committee will evaluate all papers in terms of originality, analytical rigor, and policy relevance. Authors of accepted proposals will be contacted by April 15, 2019. A final draft will be required by May 26, 2019.

    For authors of selected papers, travel and accommodation expenses for the conference will be covered. Additional information on the overall conference program will be posted on this website over the coming months. The ABCDE secretariat can be contacted via email at

    Organizing Committee:

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    Scott Barrett

    Vice Dean, School of International and Public Affairs and Professor of Natural Resource Economics, Columbia University

    Scott Barrett is a leading scholar on transnational and global challenges, ranging from climate change to disease eradication. His research focuses on how institutions like customary law and treaties can be used to promote international cooperation.He has advised a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, the European Commission, and the International Task Force on Global Public Goods. He was previously a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a member of the Academic Panel to the Department of Environment in the UK.

    Dani Rodrik

    Dani Rodrik

    Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard University

    Dani Rodrik is an economist whose research covers globalization, economic growth and development, and political economy. He is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was previously the Albert O. Hirschman Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2013–2015).

    Ngaire Woods

    Ngaire Woods

    Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance, Oxford University.

    Ngaire Woods research focuses on how to enhance the governance of organizations, the challenges of globalization, global development, and the role of international institutions and global economic governance. Previously, she founded the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University and co-founded (with Robert O. Keohane) the Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellowship programme. She led the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. Ngaire Woods’ books include: The Politics of Global Regulation (with Walter Mattli, Oxford University Press, 2009), Networks of Influence? Developing Countries in a Networked Global Order (with Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Oxford University Press, 2009), The Globalizers: the IMF, the World Bank and their Borrowers (Cornell University Press, 2006), Exporting Good Governance: Temptations and Challenges in Canada’s Aid Program (with Jennifer Welsh, Laurier University Press, 2007), and Making Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries (with Dana Brown, Oxford University Press, 2007). She has previously published The Political Economy of Globalization (Macmillan, 2000), Inequality, Globalization and World Politics (with Andrew Hurrell: Oxford University Press, 1999), Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1986), and numerous articles on international institutions, globalization, and governance.

Conference Details

  • Date: June 17–18, 2019
  • Vennue: Washington, DC
  • event_contact: ABCDE 2019
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