Anti-money laundering: the conditions for global governance and harmonisation
Oliveira, Inês Sofia de
Correia, Ines Sofia De Oliveira Gomes De Pinho
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This thesis advances global governance literature by focusing on the conditions under which procedural harmonisation occurs and how it is characterised. It suggests that the existence of a network of intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) complements great powers’ action and acts as a force for harmonisation in the making of international anti-money laundering (AML) standards. Procedural harmonisation is identified firstly, through a discussion on great power coalitions and how their interests set international agendas and impose compliance. Secondly, it is also recognised as an outcome of the IGOs’ network action through shared preferences, resource exchanges and stable relationships. Ultimately, the analysis determines that great powers are a necessary but not sufficient condition for procedural harmonisation, which is moreover favoured when legitimacy, expertise, and the need to achieve compliance are present. In sum, the thesis discusses the impact of international actors’ interactions in the making of international AML standards from 1989 to 2014, particularly the development of FATF Recommendations on ‘Customer Due Diligence’. The analysis identifies that the United States and the European Union, as great powers and members to the G-7, are the most influential actors. However, it adds that the IGOs network structure created between the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism is also a necessary actor to the achievement of procedural harmonisation. Data analysis is carried out through process-tracing, which triangulates elite interviews and non-participant observation with primary and secondary documents of legal, policy and expert nature. This thesis concludes that: a) procedural harmonisation is a product of international cooperation; b) IGOs gain influence in standard-making through network structures; and, c) procedural harmonisation may be an example to future global governance strategies if complemented with levels of legitimacy, expertise and the need to achieve compliance.