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Sarah Babb & Alexander Kentikelenis

In: The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism

Chapter 2: International Financial Institutions as Agents of Neoliberalism

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International Financial Institutions as Agents of Neoliberalism
International Financial Institutions as Agents of Neoliberalism
Sarah Babb Alexander Kentikelenis
Introduction

International financial institutions (IFIs) have been described as ‘the world's most powerful agents of economic reform’ (Halliday and Carruthers, 2007). These organizations provide financing to national governments – usually, although not exclusively, the governments of developing countries. The two most prominent IFIs, by far, are the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.1 In the 1980s, these two organizations began to enjoy unprecedented influence over the economies of the countries that turned to them for support. At that time, IFIs made access to their resources conditional on extensive domestic policy reforms, including opening to trade and international finance, ...

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