Whose Governance? IMF Austerities and Diversification in a Small Island State: The Case of Jamaica
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have for a long time embarked on what can be described as a ‘trustee’ relationship with countries in the Commonwealth Caribbean. From the latter half of the 1970s, countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, as well as Grenada were ‘forced’ because of their chronic need for ‘hard’ currency loans to approach the IMF and the World Bank. These loans were accompanied by structural adjustment measures. This chapter attempts for the first time to evaluate in the case of Jamaica, whether the measures introduced by the Lending Agencies resulted in some measure of economic growth in the countries under review. The chapter then examines the new agreements entered into by these countries and the measures that accompanied them. The overarching argument is that the forces of globalization as well as austerity measures introduced by lending agencies such the IMF and the World Bank prevent rather than encourage small island governments to embark on ‘national’ development plans and programmes.
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