Crisis politics in comparative perspective: austerity politics and the role of the IMF in Latin America and Europe
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
9th Pan?European Conference on International Relations - The Worlds of Violence
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
During and after the debt crisis of the early 1980s, Latin America was an arena for large-scale economic adjustment. The IMF as the main manager of the debt crisis recommended austerity measures based on conditionality to resolve the problems. The widely implemented structural adjustment programs were guided by orthodox economics and later dubbed ?Washington Consensus?.
Today, the crisis fighting approach of the European Union follows the same guidelines of neoliberal adjustment. With the IMF involved in the troika programs, the troika`s Economic Adjustment Programs and Memoranda of Understanding call for austerity and debt brakes.
The two varieties of austerity capitalisms offer an interesting study field for comparison. With a focus on the institutional framework and the relations of forces in the domestic domain, but also between international and local actors, the paper analyses the similarities and differences in the policy prescription and the implementation process.
In my conclusion I argue that the Washington consensus has moved to Brussels. In the case of crisis lending to the Eastern and Southern Europe periphery, the EU executive holds austerity capitalism more securely then the IMF. Thus, I counter the perception of the IMF as hardliner and policy enforcer in this field. The EU executive has not only taken the position of a foremost advocate of orthodox adjustment but also successfully established a framework of economic governance enshrined in an authoritative constitutional order. Resistance to adjustment faces therefore greater difficulties than in the countries of Latin America during the 1980s and 1990s.
A cross-regional and cross-temporal comparative study of this kind aims to enrich our understanding of the way in which the politics of neoliberal economic reforms are implemented (and impeded).