Economic Reform Through International Financial Institutions

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Over three fourths of African states have pursued programs of economic reform through international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank. These financial institutions are centred in western states and push western ideas of economic structures, such as liberalization. Programs of economic reform enacted by these institutions have been viewed as a dominant source of influence, or power, over African economic policy formulation. These institutions are not only using the power of knowledge and the worlds acceptance of liberalization, produced by western schools of thought, these economy reforms also display the interconnectedness of economic, political and social power. It appears when African countries release one form of power the other two are relinquished as well. This paper will argue that because of western IR’s brand of knowledge, which promotes liberal economic ideals, especially the belief that free trade benefits all, the west is able to justify its intervening in foreign economies. Western IR’s monopoly over knowledge hold a powerful position where they posses both the power to define issues impeding upon developing countries and the position to act as the selfless savior assisting these countries. They are not truly assisting as much of their actions benefit western countries more than the country receiving help. This will be seen through examining the case of aid, particularly structural adjustment programs in Africa. The specific case study that
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