13 Jun 2023
Brown Bag Seminar, 12:15, Anna Nussbaum Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern, Switzerland

Brown Bag Seminar: "Perfect Scapegoats? Blaming and Defending the International Monetary Fund"

Tom Hunter, from the University of Zurich, join us at the WTI for the last great Brown Bag of this semester. The topic: IMFs criticism.


IOs are often accused as being perfect scapegoats for opportunistic governments. Yet empirical evidence (particularly quantitative) on the extent to which governments blame IOs is limited. We identify and classify over 500 statements on the IMF by national leaders going through the Fund’s largest programmes and find that whilst governments do frequently blame the IMF, they in fact defend the Fund more than they blame it.

We argue that three factors are crucial to explain whether a government will blame or defend the IMF: the extent to which a government is perceived to own the programme, the level of internal pressure faced by the government, and the level of external pressure. We conclude that IOs are not the perfect scapegoats they are often presented to be, but that when certain conditions align they can indeed be fierce targets for blame shifting by national governments.

More info to follow. Keep watching this space!

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