A Theory of Human Rights During Recession

  • Rana S. Gautam


Do women’s economic rights and basic human rights recede amid systemic banking crises in the low-income countries? If so, then why should financial turmoil perpetuate the human rights crisis? The role of the Bretton Woods sisters—the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—has dominated the debate on government’s human rights practices during financial crises. This chapter draws upon the political economy of policy reforms to develop an alternative theoretical explanation. It asserts that the prioritization of macroeconomic management and the struggle over the distribution of the burden of the crisis have implications for human rights practices during economic downturns. Further, the opposition parties’ strength will mediate the government’s commitment to basic human rights during systemic banking crises.


Human rights Financial crisis IMF Political economy Economic reforms 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rana S. Gautam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North GeorgiaDahlonegaUSA

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