A Thousand Cuts: Social Protection in the Age of Austerity

  • Starts10:00 am on Tuesday, May 7, 2024
  • Ends11:00 am on Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The dominant policy response to economic crises over the past four decades has been the introduction of austerity - a mix of budget cuts and reforms to downsize the role of the state. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been the world's lender of last resort and advocate of austerity, but critics of the IMF have identified so-called structural adjustment programs as a key cause of global increases in poverty, widespread disease and unemployment. In the face of such criticisms, the IMF has advanced a narrative of wholesale reform to its practices.

In “A Thousand Cuts: Social Protection in the Age of Austerity,” Alexandros Kentikelenis and Thomas Stubbs provide a systematic and comprehensive analysis of IMF policies around the world. Based on novel data from the IMF archives, Kentikelenis and Stubbs have generated a replicable database of all IMF-mandated reforms from 1980-2019 to examine their effects on social policies and outcomes.

They reveal that although the precise content of IMF-mandated austerity has changed considerably over time, the organization continues to place a high burden of reform on countries in crisis. Kentikelenis and Stubbs also argue that in spite of reform rhetoric, the IMF's practices - and the outcomes they produce - have changed very little over the past three decades.

On Tuesday, May 7 from 10:00-11:00AM EDT, join us for a webinar featuring Alexandros Kentikelenis, Associate Professor, Political Economy and Sociology, Bocconi University and Thomas Stubbs, Reader, Global Political Economy, Royal Holloway, University of London on austerity and how the IMF might better support social protection.

This event is part of the Spring 2024 Global Economic Governance Book Talk series.

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