The capacity of the International Monetary Fund to influence policymaking in a LDC: A case study of Egypt

Sanna A Zikry, Fordham University


This dissertation analyzes the policy making process in a developing country, Egypt, that followed the path of state led development and later attempted to liberalize the economy. Despite the promulgation of liberal legislation and the leverage applied by external actors, particularly the IMF, the economic system has not been transformed. It is argued that a highly autonomous state during the early 1950s and 1960s was able to institutionalize changes but, as its autonomy progressively diminished, largely as a result of the policies earlier implemented and the socio-economic structure that emerged, its capacity to develop a liberal political economy was markedly reduced. Societal forces did not have sufficient strength to bring about systemic changes and a capitalist force, with interests to fully liberalize the system did not develop. The first part of this study discusses developments in the international political economy which provided the mandate for IMF intervention in deficit countries, particularly LDCs. The second part, the case study, starts with an analysis of the development of the Egyptian political economy during 1930-1967 and discusses the socio-economic development paths and policy decisions taken by the state, its relationship with international financial actors and its position in the international system, which constrained future state action. Subsequently, an analysis of specific decisions taken by the state towards liberalization, starting with 1967, is presented. This is followed by an identification of the position of the Fund and other international actors vis-a-vis such decisions, as well as, the interests and actions of particular social forces. On an empirical level, the contribution of this study lies in the presentation of coherent statistical data and the specifics of IMF programs that have not been publicized thus providing an alternate interpretation of political events. Furthermore, the study provides policy-applicable knowledge for less developing countries that are attempting to liberalize their economies, particularly the emerging newly-industrializing countries. On a theoretical level, the analytical approach utilized attempts to override the deficiencies of the existing literature and offers a unifying conceptual framework that incorporates the notion of a state and its interaction with internal and external forces.

Subject Area

Political science|International law|International relations|Public administration

Recommended Citation

Zikry, Sanna A, "The capacity of the International Monetary Fund to influence policymaking in a LDC: A case study of Egypt" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9105788.