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One recipe, multiple results: the IMF and its relations with Argentina and Mexico during the economic crisis of the 1980s

Grant number: 20/10548-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2020
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of America
Principal Investigator:José Alves de Freitas Neto
Grantee:Júlio Matzenbacher Zampietro
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The role of the IMF in economic, political, and social decisions in Latin America, in the 1980s, comprises the background for this historical study of the economic theories and practices, and discussions in a scenario of debt crisis, common to many of these countries. The current project aims to analyse the negotiation process between this institution and two Latin American countries, Argentina and Mexico, in an effort to elucidate if this process made possible the adoption of economic policies that were to benefit each country involved, or if the final result was the application of a set of ready-made policies that did not take into consideration each country's political and economic histories. In taking into account the economic ideas most prevalent in both countries, their deeply-rooted political traditions, and the intellectual debate regarding conditions for economic development, in contrast with the ideas defended by the Fund regarding these issues, as well as the clauses of conditionality that were eventually adopted, we aim to attain two objectives: to better understand the role of this institution in an international setting, as an element of protection or of change of a specific global economic order, and to observe how ideas of state autonomy and legitimacy connect to these negotiation processes. That is, we have as our aim to question the schematic idea that Latin America is not chief of its own actions, with a transfer of prerogatives to foreign decision-makers. To achieve these objectives we will use IMF reports, as well as essays written by key economists of and from Latin America that participated in the 1980s debate as to the future of the continent, in order to analyse the different discourses prevalent at the time.

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