International Organizations and Strategies of Self-Legitimization:
The Example of the World Bank Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime
ABSTRACT: The power of the World Bank in practice beyond have grown significantly its chartered mandate. The World Bank has become an increasingly significant player in global anti-corruption movement. Over the past 20 years, efforts in combating corruption, especially the introduction of the anti-corruption sanctions mechanism in 1996, is a noteworthy example how the World Bank engages deeply in contemporary global governance. Through a series of reforms of the mechanism, the World Bank has substantively enlarged its scope of jurisdiction, strengthened its capability of investigation, and standardized and judicialized its Sanctions Procedures. In exercising its power to govern the corruption issue, the World Bank endeavours to reinvent and represent itself as a public institution and exercise certain ‘quasi-public authority’ that is not provided for in its constitutional document. On the international legal plane, the rule of law discourse, one resting principally upon a formalistic notion of rule of law, has been used by international organizations as an essential instrument for their self-empowerment and self-legitimization in the name of global governance.