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Fuelling ambition or fending off risk? Revisiting the International Monetary Funds's role in Sub-Saharan Africa


Brütsch, C (2011). Fuelling ambition or fending off risk? Revisiting the International Monetary Funds's role in Sub-Saharan Africa. St. Antony's International Review, 7(1):79-96.

Abstract

What does the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) response to the financial crisis say about its past and future roles in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)? To find answers, this article explores the tensions between the "old" Fund's efforts to entrench "sound" macroeconomic policies and the "new" IMF's plans to insure its members against global volatility. The paper outlines the risks associated with the pursuit of IMF policy advice, reviews the Fund's engagement in Angola and Mozambique, and discusses how these experiences reflect on its future role. The case studies suggest that whilst countries that work with the Fund are more resilient than those that go at it alone, resilience comes at the cost of a more ambitious developmental state—not because the Fund hampers aspirations, but because it cannot leverage ambition. The study concludes that rather than glossing over the political cost of risk insurance, the IMF should target its assistance to governments that are prepared to make, explain, and follow-up on the difficult choices.

What does the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) response to the financial crisis say about its past and future roles in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)? To find answers, this article explores the tensions between the "old" Fund's efforts to entrench "sound" macroeconomic policies and the "new" IMF's plans to insure its members against global volatility. The paper outlines the risks associated with the pursuit of IMF policy advice, reviews the Fund's engagement in Angola and Mozambique, and discusses how these experiences reflect on its future role. The case studies suggest that whilst countries that work with the Fund are more resilient than those that go at it alone, resilience comes at the cost of a more ambitious developmental state—not because the Fund hampers aspirations, but because it cannot leverage ambition. The study concludes that rather than glossing over the political cost of risk insurance, the IMF should target its assistance to governments that are prepared to make, explain, and follow-up on the difficult choices.

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:1 May 2011
Deposited On:01 Mar 2012 13:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:29
Publisher:Saint Antony's College
ISSN:1746-451X
Related URLs:http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/stair/stair/2011/00000007/00000001/art00007#expand/collapse

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