Post-Colonial Approaches to the Conditionality of the International Monetary Fund
Hague Yearbook of International Law, Vol 13 (2000)
7 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2018
Date Written: 2000
In the research on which this paper is based, my aim was to ask a new set of questions about the conditionality of the International Monetary Fund. This paper briefly outlines the methodology used in that project and one aspect of my findings. The appropriate role of the International Monetary Fund is a subject around which there is a maelstrom of controversy. The axis around which the controversy turns can, for simplicity's sake, be described as South/North or Third World/First World. Many roles are proposed for the Fund and many charges are levelled at it, almost all in relation to the South. Some argue that the Fund's conditionality is nothing more than a cynical attempt to "soften up" the developing countries to ready them for their incorporation into the "global" market. Others argue that conditionality should be expanded to include concerns such as human rights standards and environmental standards on the basis that conditionality will provide an enforcement mechanism for these norms. However, in my view, the relationship between the Fund's role aud the relationship between South and North merits exploration from a different perspective. Instead of taking an instrumentalist point of view of the Fund, I wish to respond to what might be called the "call to texts" of, most notably, postcolonial theorists and study the discursive forms of the Fund in the context of the relationship between the South and the North.
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