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Structural Adjustment

  • By: Tina Lynn Evans
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Beginning with the Third World debt crisis in the 1970s and 1980s, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have made loans contingent on debtor nations deploying sweeping structural adjustment programs (SAPs). Enforcement of structural adjustment as a condition for receiving IMF and World Bank loans serves to integrate debtor nations into the world system in ways that typically advantage transnational corporate and financial interests in the First World at the expense of economic and social interests of Third World citizens. Structural adjustment is premised on the idea that a debtor nation's economic problems derive entirely from structural deficiencies within its own economy. The national economy must therefore adjust to the world economy. In reality, the economic crises Third World debtor nations face ...

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