In the decade since the global financial crisis of 2007-8, a number of countries have faced and succumbed to sovereign-debt crises and declared bankruptcy. After Greece, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Zambia, and Lebanon, Sri Lanka has recently joined the ranks of countries felled by economic downturn, whose harsh impact will be felt by its people for a long time to come. In this context, the question arises: what role have international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank played in these economic crises? Have they helped or hurt the economic prospects of the Global South?
To discuss this question, we are joined by Ahilan Kadirgamar, a political economist from the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka, and Jamie Martin, a historian at Harvard University and the author of The Meddlers: Sovereignty, Empire, and the Birth of Global Economic Governance.