© 2016

Poor States, Power and the Politics of IMF Reform

Drivers of Change in the Post- Washington Consensus


Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Mark Hibben
    Pages 29-59
  3. Mark Hibben
    Pages 91-114
  4. Mark Hibben
    Pages 167-176
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 177-185

About this book


Series Editor:  Timothy M. Shaw, Visiting Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA and Emeritus Professor, University of London, UK

This books provides a timely comparative case study that reveals the factors driving the International Monetary Fund's policy reform in Low Income Developing Countries (LIDCs), as a resurgent IMF expands its footprint in the world's poorest states. Through a research design that employs both mainstream and critical IPE theory, Mark Hibben uncovers three major tendencies. Principal-agent analysis, he argues, demonstrates that coalition formation among powerful states, IMF staff and management, and other influential actors is necessary for policy reform. At the same time, he uses constructivist analysis to show that ideational frameworks of what merits appropriate macroeconomic policy response also have an impact on reform efforts, and that IMF management and staff seek legitimacy in their policy choices. In response to the crises in 1999 and 2008, the author maintains, poverty and inequality now 'matter' in IMF thinking and serve as an opportunity for policy insiders and external actors to deepen the institution's new commitment to 'inclusive' growth.  Finally, Hibben draws on neo-Gramscian analysis to highlight how the IMF looked to soften the destabilizing effects of globalization through reforms focused on stakeholder participation in poor states and will continue to do so in its support of the new United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.  This means that the 2015-2030  time period will be a critical juncture for IMF LIDC reform. By drawing from diverse theoretical traditions, the author thus provides a unique framework for the study of contemporary IMF change and how best those interested in LIDC policy reform can meet this objective.

Mark Hibben is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, US


Low Income Developing States Reform Principal-agent analysis Constructivist analysis Macroeconomic policy Neo-Gramscian analysis

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Joseph’s College of MaineAssistant Professor of Political SciencePortlandUSA

About the authors

Mark Hibben is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, USA.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Poor States, Power and the Politics of IMF Reform
  • Book Subtitle Drivers of Change in the Post- Washington Consensus
  • Authors Mark Hibben
  • Series Title International Political Economy Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title International Political Economy Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Political Science and International Studies Political Science and International Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-57749-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-84641-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-57750-4
  • Series ISSN 2662-2483
  • Series E-ISSN 2662-2491
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 185
  • Number of Illustrations 3 b/w illustrations, 7 illustrations in colour
  • Topics International Political Economy
    Development Aid
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“A too often forgotten aspect of IMF lending activities is the funding arrangements between the powerful global financial institution and the poorest of the poor countries in the world.  Mark Hibben sheds needed light on this under-researched and under-theorized relationship. The timing of this book is critical as the IMF expands its influence and power in the least developing countries and as post-2008 global normative changes have altered the Washington consensus into a kinder and more gentle IMF that is yet, ironically, potentially more involved in socioeconomic policy areas than previous development decades.” (Bessma Momani, University of Waterloo, Canada)

“With admirable clarity and respect for the unique strengths of three major analytical traditions in IPE, Hibben examines changing policy regimes within the IMF to assess how, why, and how much its approach to global poverty has changed since the heyday of the Washington Consensus.” (Mark Rupert, Syracuse University, USA)