Structural adjustment and the art of discourse maintenance
Canadian Journal of Development Studies , Volume 26 - Issue 4 p. 749- 762
From its origin as a stopgap measure enacted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to counteract the economic effects of the international debt crisis on developing countries' balance of payments accounts, structural adjustment (SA) lending has evolved into a policy roadmap for long-term prosperity, profoundly influencing and standardizing the accepted orthodox concept of development along the way. The result of this rhetorical trajectory is a conflation of the means and end of development into a common and universal vision held by the international financial institutions (IFIs) of liberalized market economies reinforced by market-friendly domestic policy agendas. This article examines the ascendancy of the logic of SA, the means by which such logic has come to embody the scope of development options, how it defends and propagates itself, and the effects its discursive dominance has on the field of development.