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Bernhard Reinsberg

Research Associate

Bernhard Reinsberg is a Reader in Politics at the University of Glasgow. He also is affiliated to the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Zurich, an MA in Comparative and International Studies at ETH Zurich and BA degrees in Political Science (Freie Universität Berlin) and Mathematics (University in Hagen).

His research broadly covers the political economy of international organisations – such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund – and seeks to contribute to a better understanding of what drives their behaviour and when their development interventions are effective. 

One line of his research examines the heterogeneous impacts of different policy conditions in International Monetary Fund lending programmes on state capacity and other sociopolitical outcomes. He also studies the institutional design determinants of contemporary international institutions such as trust funds, whereby donor countries provide earmarked funding to international development organisations. The rise of trust funds chimes with a more general trend toward governance beyond formal intergovernmental organisations in the international system. 

Using primarily quantitative analysis, he is currently examining underlying determinants and potential implications of such informal governance mechanisms.

Research interests

International relations; political economy; development policy; foreign aid; multi-bi aid; trust funds; principal-agent problems in international organisation; bureaucratic politics; international financial institutions; World Bank; International Monetary Fund; informal governance; regime complexes; blockchain technology.


IMF Lending & Socio-Economic Development: The Evolution & Consequences of Structural Adjustment, 1985-2014

Selected publications

Reinsberg, B., Stubbs, T., Kentikelenis, A. (2021). “Compliance, defiance, and the dependency trap: International Monetary Fund program interruptions and their impact on capital markets.” Regulation & Governance (doi:10.1111/rego.12422).

Reinsberg, B., Stubbs, T., Kentikelenis, A. (2021). “Unimplementable by design? Understanding (non-)compliance with International Monetary Fund policy conditionality.” Governance (doi:10.1111/gove.12605).

Reinsberg, B., Kern, A., & Rau-Göhring, M. (2021). The political economy of IMF conditionality and central bank independenceEuropean Journal of Political Economy 68, 101987.

Reinsberg, B., & Westerwinter, O. (2019). The global governance of international development: Documenting the rise of informal organizations and identifying underlying theoretical explanations. Review of International Organizations, doi: 10.1007/s11558-019-09362-0

Reinsberg, B., Kentikelenis, A., & Stubbs, T. (2019). “Creating crony capitalism: Neoliberal globalization and the fueling of corruption”. Socio-Economic Review, doi: 10.1093/ser/mwz039

Reinsberg, B. (2018). “Blockchain technology and the governance of foreign aid.” Journal of Institutional Economics, 15(3), 413-429.

Reinsberg, B., Kentikelenis, A., Stubbs, T., & King, L. (2018). “The world system and the hollowing-out of state capacity: How structural adjustment programs affect bureaucratic quality in developing countries.” American Journal of Sociology, 124(4): 1222-1257.

Reinsberg, B., Michaelowa, K., & Knack, S. (2017). “Which Donors, Which Funds? The Choice of Multilateral Funds by Bilateral Donors at the World Bank”. International Organization, 71(4), 767-802.

Reinsberg, B. (2017). Organizational reform and the rise of trust funds: lessons from the World Bank.” Review of International Organizations.

Reinsberg, B., Michaelowa, K., & Eichenauer, V. (2015). “The rise of multi-bi aid and the proliferation of trust funds.” In: Arvin, M.B., and Lew, B. (eds.). Handbook on the Economics of Foreign Aid. Edward Elgar.

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Contact details

Bernhard Reinsberg
Centre for Business Research
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG

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