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A Critique of the IMF’s Role and Policy Conditionality (No. 4)

USD 6.00 Publisher: TWN
ISBN: 983-9747-76-2
Year: 2001
No. of pages: 32
Size of book: 14.5cm x 21cm
Author: Martin Khor

About the Book

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) management would like recipient countries to “own” the policy conditionalities set in its programmes, much more than they have done. But, as this paper highlights, genuine ownership can only be derived if the countries themselves participate in the making of the policies; and this is generally not the case as the policies are usually imposed by the IMF, often against the wishes of the governments or people.

Unless the key issues of the democratic (or rather non-democratic and non-participatory) process of IMF policy-making, and the appropriateness (or rather inappropriateness) of the IMF policies are resolved, no amount of persuasion or arm-twisting will bring about genuine ownership.

This paper also contends that these key issues are not academic but of life and death dimensions, as seen, for example, in the financial crisis in Asia, when millions in affected countries suffered from the impact of market practices and the IMF-led policies.

This paper strongly advocates a backtracking to the crossroads and the taking of a new turning by the IMF that would be more true to the Fund’s original mission of establishing financial stability – i.e., the road of crisis prevention by enhancing greater stability through better understanding and regulation of capital flows and capital markets; and a more stable system of exchange rates.

About the Author

Martin Khor is the Director of Third World Network. He is an economist trained in Cambridge University, and has lectured in economics in the Science University of Malaysia. He has authored several books and made significant contributions to articles on trade, development and environment issues.


  1. Introduction

  2. The IMF’s Original Mission and the Deviation

  3. The Road that should be Taken
    Crisis prevention measures in a new framework for financial stability

  4. Problems in Crisis Management and in the Process and Substance of IMF’s Conditionality
    Absence of debt resolution system puts debtor country at losing end
    Flawed process in IMF conditionality
    Content and quality of IMF policies: Indicators and types of problems
    Scope of conditionality too broad
    In areas of its core competence, there are also serious problems with IMF policies
    IMF policies badly designed from the social development perspective
    Brief conclusion

  5. Perceptions of Inadequacy of Knowledge and of Double Standards in Fund Policy

  6. Some General Points

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 21 June, 2011.

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