• The IMF and a new global politics of inequality?

      Nunn, Alex; White, Paul; University of Derby; Leeds Beckett University (Australian Political Economy Movement, 2017-01)
      This paper addresses a simple, and largely empirical, research question: is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recent high level commitment to reducing inequality translated into concrete action in its dealings with member states? Addressing this research question is significant in several respects. First, the high level rhetorical commitment to reduce inequality might be seen as paradoxical because the IMF, alongside other institutions of global economic management, has long been criticised for its role in promoting economic reform in member countries, partly on the basis that this increases inequality (Peet et al. 2009; Kentikelenis et al. 2016: 550-1). It is therefore important to assess the extent to which recent pronouncements on inequality by the Fund suggest a change in emphasis or a genuine institutional commitment. Second, addressing the question contributes to a contemporary academic literature on more technical aspects of how we should understand and interpret IMF policy advice and conditionality. This literature currently focusses on a range of aspects of IMF policy advice, but does not address the recent interest of the Fund in inequality. The paper addresses this lacuna.