From one crisis to another: is the financial crisis triggering a new crisis in governance of development policies?

Helga Kristin Fridjonsdottir & Stina Nilsson

Student thesis: Termpaper


The thesis takes it point of departure in institutional changes after the global financial crisis. More specifically, it scrutinizes the changes in the International Monetary Fund (the IMF) in the light of the financial crisis. Furthermore, it scrutinizes how these changes have possibly prevailed. This is done by first identifying changes in the debate on development policies and changes in the global economic architecture, after the financial crisis. It is argued that counter-cyclical polices are given more attention in the debate after the crisis than was the case before, however the changes in positions of core actors in the debate are very limited. A bigger change is that after the financial crisis the issue of reforming international financial institutions (IFIs) have changed. It is suggested in the debate that emerging economies should gain more influence in the IFIs. Regarding the global economic architecture after the financial crisis it is suggested that there is a larger economical development in China compared to other countries as well as a larger dependency on China from other countries. A theoretical model on institutional changes from a critical theory perspective is then used to explain how a changed debate and a new global economic architecture are influencing changes in the IMF after the outbreak of the financial crisis. Two tendencies on how the institutions will possibly develop are found. One suggestion is that China and other emerging economies will gain more influence in the IMF. The other suggestion is that China creates alternative financial institutions together with other non-western countries and that the IMF continues according to the Washington Consensus and the neo liberal agenda that has governed the IFIs during the last two decades. It is concluded that probably we will experience a mix of the two tendencies.

EducationsGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Undergraduate or graduate
Publication date1 May 2009
SupervisorsPeter Kragelund


  • International Monetary Fund (the IMF)
  • Washington Consensus
  • institutional change
  • financial crisis
  • emerging economies
  • development policies