International monetary policy coordination perhaps immediately brings one’s focus to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), established in 1945 and especially tasked with promoting “international monetary cooperation”. Comparably, our perceptions equally lead us towards imaging a congruence of central bankers debating and formulating rules of monetary engagement among nations. There is certainly much insight and truth in such a vision, however, it is only half the story. Indeed, the IMF has been a central figure in mediating and facilitating monetary relations among nations, while providing both meaning and structure to the obligations contained within the IMF agreement. Similarly, central banks continue to remain the prime actors in engaging monetary coordination. However, neither the IMF nor central banks alone represent the only institutional setting or actors through which coordination with respect to monetary policy occurs at the international level. Over the years, several other institutions, both formal and informal, old and new, have played an equally important role in facilitating monetary policy coordination and in attenuating international monetary conflicts. Similarly, given the inextricable relationship between money, investment and trade, different international regimes through their own representative institutions like the World Trade Organization and a numerous number of Bilateral Investment Treaties, also variously contribute towards coordinating monetary policy measures. Depending on the structure, form and objectives of particular institutions, they engage different actors, divergent instruments and exert varying levels of influence on domestic monetary autonomy.
Against that backdrop, the first task of this project is to conceptualize the law on monetary policy coordination by identifying those institutions, forums and mechanisms through which such coordination transpires in the international realm. By studying their legal form and content this work seeks to contribute towards a more holistic understanding of global governance in monetary affairs, which has hitherto remained under-explored in legal scholarship. In a second step, through a public law approach, this project seeks to identify the sources of authority embedded within the processes and outcomes pertaining to international monetary coordination and address the accountability and legitimacy concerns arising out of the same.