IMF Conditionality and Political Dissent in Developing Nations
Gardner, Jennifer Lynn
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Conditionality refers to the program policies required by international institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), in order for countries to be eligible to receive access to resources provided by such institutions. In the case of the IMF these resources are available in the form of loans. The proper role of conditionality as a component of the Fundâ s financial arrangements with developing nations has been a topic of debate in both the political science and economic fields of study. On the political science side the argument has centered on whether or not austere and structural conditionality can in effect cause political dissent in the developing nations, and whether or not the process of conditionality violates the sovereign rights of nations. In this research study three Latin American countries (Brazil, Argentina, and Costa Rica) were utilized as case studies to try and determine whether or not their was a casual link between the implementation of IMF conditionality and instances of political dissent manifested as protests, riots, and strikes. Evidence of political dissent directly related to the implementation of IMF conditionality was found in all three case studies at varying levels. The instances of political dissent were then analyzed individually and as a group to try and determine specific cause, group dynamics, and the economic context in which they took place. The study concluded that as practiced in the 1990s and early 2000s conditionality can interfere with the democratic process in developing nations.
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