First Conceptualised By Keith Hart In 1973, The Notion

1860 WordsMar 6, 20178 Pages
First conceptualised by Keith Hart in 1973, the notion of informality is broadly defined as explaining activities which fall beyond the regulation of the state, often resulting from the “absence of one or more forms of state… regulation” (Sinha and Kanbur, 2012:2). However, according to McFarlane and Waibel (2012), informality itself is a nebulous term due to its wide-reaching focus-- from poverty to marginality, from livelihoods to inequality. They describe informality as more of a metaphor rather than a concept due to the fluidity and uncertainty of the term, however, they do agree that informality “plays a crucial role not only in the global South, but beyond” (McFarlane and Waibel, 2012:1). In many instances, the state itself has been…show more content…
The stagnation of the global Southern countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa occurred in the 1970s and 80s when these countries “found themselves trapped by levels of debt to international public and commercial banks” (Williams, 1994:214). Fearing another global depression, large banks and organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) embarked upon structural adjustment programs (SAPs) in these heavily indebted countries with the aim of restructuring their ‘traditional economies’-- seen in the global North as ‘symptoms of backwardness’ (Moser, 1994). The ability to qualify for monetary aid from the global North was “conditional on the adoption of a range of policies” (Craig and Porter, 2003:60) set out by these organisations believed to be necessary for debt sustainability; central to which was the theory of ‘neoliberalism’. The first main condition was the devaluing of the local currency, intended to encourage exports and limit imports (Williams, 1994), with the second policy agreement being the reduction in the size of the government bureaucracy. The initial reason for the debt pile-up in these countries was seen as being due to governmental mismanagement, and therefore money was allocated for the restructuring of the state governments in order to correct their inefficiency. As a result of the withdrawing

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