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Problem-solving politics : debt, discourse and the International Monetary Fund.

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This dissertation aims to problematize the concept (and proposed policy) of "debt sustainability", particularly in relation to those countries classified as "low-income", by attempting to map the logic behind what is presented as neutral, technical fact (i.e., "best practice") and seeing what work this logic does, i.e., what its effects are. Debt sustainability is not a free-floating concept, but one that is operationalized in policy. This means that the outcomes of employing a debt sustainability framework for low-income countries may have tangible consequences; in this way, and most importantly, debt sustainability may also have consequences regarding prospects for debt reliefand for the way countries and organizations make lending and borrowing decisions. The way the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conceptualizes and presents indebtedness, poverty, governance, and (sustainable) "development" dialectically reproduces a discourse around debt that both limits (depoliticizes) and opens possibilities for debt cancellation and fundamental change fundamental change in the IMF's role and function, in the Fund's relations with countries of the global south, and in the budgetary and other constraints those countries face in processes of "indebtedness" and "development".


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2005.


Theses--Development studies., Debts, External., Sustainable development., International Monetary Fund.