Thomas Stubbs

Thomas Stubbs
Royal Holloway, University of London | RHUL · Department of Politics and International Relations

About

38
Publications
25,980
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1,261
Citations
Citations since 2017
30 Research Items
1227 Citations
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Introduction
My interests span international development, global and public health, political and economic sociology, political economy, and East African politics. I am currently pursuing the following topics: International Monetary Fund lending in low-income countries; political settlements and health policy in East Africa; lived experiences of social precarity in New Zealand.

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is (in)famous for its structural adjustment programs, which provide fresh credit for borrowing governments in exchange for market-liberalizing policy reforms. While studies have documented a causal relationship between structural adjustment and political instability, scholarly understanding of the mechanisms un...
Article
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Among the drivers of socio-economic development, this article focuses on an important yet insufficiently understood international-level determinant: the spread of austerity policies to the developing world by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In offering loans to developing countries in exchange for policy reforms, the IMF typically sets the f...
Article
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The convergence of health, economic and social crises over the past 1.5 years has posed profound questions over the direction of travel for the world after COVID-19. The narrative emerging out of major international organizations like the International Monetary Fund stresses avoiding a ‘divergent recovery’, whereby some countries steam ahead with h...
Article
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is infamous for its structural adjustment programs, requiring countries to undertake policy reforms in exchange for loans. Yet, not only do countries routinely fail to implement these reforms, but they also frequently return to the IMF to start the process anew. What explains this compelling case of transnation...
Article
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Why do governments fail to implement policy commitments in contractual agreements with international organizations? While scholars have scrutinized domestic factors as obstacles to compliance, we argue that reform programs may be unimplementable by design. We study this hypothesis in the context of International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs, in whi...
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Strengthening fiscal capacity in low- and middle-income countries is essential for achieving sustainable development. The International Monetary Fund—the world’s premier agent of fiscal policy reform—has taken a front-stage role in this process, promoting a model of tax policy that favors broad-based consumption taxes and discourages trade taxes. T...
Article
Multilateral financial institutions have pledged to do whatever it takes to enable emerging market and developing countries to fill a $2.5 trillion financing gap to combat Covid-19 and subsequent economic crises. In this article, we present new datasets to track the extent to which multilateral financial institutions are meeting these goals, and co...
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This article examines how neoliberal policies mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) impact on corruption in developing countries. Combining domestic political analysis with world systems and dependency theories, we hypothesize that these reforms concentrate losses on influential social groups such as businesses and civil servants, who t...
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Among the many drivers of health inequities, this article focuses on important, yet insufficiently understood, international-level determinants: economic globalization and the organizations that spread market-oriented policies to the developing world. One such organization is the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides financial assistanc...
Technical Report
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Aotearoa New Zealand is now the fifth most unequal economy in the OECD. To highlight the human cost of this situation, the concept of “the precariat” offers more informed and contextualised understandings of the situations of socio-economically marginalised people in Aotearoa. Significant societal and policy change is required for Māori whānau to b...
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This article highlights an important yet insufficiently understood international-level determinant of inequality in the developing world: structural adjustment programs by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Studying a panel of 135 countries for the period 1980 to 2014, we examine income inequality using multivariate regression analysis correcte...
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This study examines the relationship between policy interventions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and de jure labor rights. Combining two novel data sets with unprecedented country-year coverage – leximetric data on labor laws and disaggregated data on IMF conditionality – our analysis of up to 70 developing countries from 1980 to 2014 dem...
Article
The mandate and competence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not cover food and agriculture policies. While there is anecdotal evidence that the IMF engages in these policies regardless, the state-of-the-art lacks a systematic empirical foundation to identify the extent of its mission creep into these sectors. Based on a combination of...
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The administrative ability of the state to deliver effective policy is essential for economic development. While sociologists have long devoted attention to domestic forces underpinning state capacity, the authors focus on world system pressures from Western-dominated international organizations. Scrutinizing policy reforms mandated by the Internat...
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Following calls for a more disaggregated approach to studying the consequences of IMF programs, scholars have developed new datasets of IMF-mandated policy reforms, or ‘conditionality.’ Initial studies have explored how conditions have, inter alia, affected tax revenues, public sector wages, and health systems. Notwithstanding the important contrib...
Chapter
Full-text available
International financial institutions (IFIs) typically condition the provision of loans, grants, and debt relief on the implementation, by the recipient country, of policy reforms that are aimed at making the fiscal and debt situation sustainable, improving competitiveness, and boosting economic growth. These so-called ‘conditionalities’ afford IFIs...
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Structural adjustment programmes of international financial institutions have typically set the fiscal parameters within which health policies operate in developing countries. Yet, we currently lack a systematic understanding of the ways in which these programmes impact upon child and maternal health. The present article systematically reviews obse...
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Serving as lender of last resort to countries experiencing unsustainable levels of public debt, international financial institutions have attracted intense controversy over the past decades, exemplified most recently by the popular discontent expressed in Eurozone countries following several rounds of austerity measures. In exchange for access to f...
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Parental education is located at the center of global efforts to improve child health. In a developing-country context, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plays a crucial role in determining how governments allocate scarce resources to education and public health interventions. Under reforms mandated by IMF structural adjustment programs, it may...
Article
In offering loans to low-income countries in exchange for policy reforms, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) typically sets the fiscal parameters within which health systems develop. In a recent report released by the organisation, the IMF claims that their programmes have promoted social protection, including access to health care. We revisit t...
Article
Significance This study adds to the state of the art by analyzing the impact of International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs on children’s health, mediated by their parents’ education. It is the first to combine macrodata and microdata to address this issue systematically across five dimensions of child health: water, malnutrition, shelter, sanitatio...
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In recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has re-emerged as a central actor in global economic governance. Its rhetoric and policies suggest that the organization has radically changed the ways in which it offers financial assistance to countries in economic trouble. We revisit two long-standing controversies: Has the policy content of...
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The Varieties of Capitalism approach envisages a process by which national capitalisms converge towards two distinct institutional formations. In contrast, it is argued here that countries singularly converge towards the regulatory bias of the prevailing model of development, but divergence exists within this convergence because unevenly developing...
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The relationship between health policy in low-income countries (LICs) and structural adjustment programs devised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been the subject of intense controversy over past decades. While the influence of the IMF on health policy can operate through various pathways, one main link is via public spending on health....
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Recent years have seen an increasing number of empirical papers using subjective indicators in cross-country quantitative analyses of growth. We evaluate potential observer biases in the three most commonly employed subjective measures of property rights – taken from the Heritage Foundation, Fraser Institute, and World Economic Forum. Drawing on cr...
Article
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This paper offers the groundwork of an alternative to mainstream (un)employment theory that builds on Marx’s account of the ‘active army’ and ‘relative surplus population’. With special application to the current neoliberal era, Marx’s long-range labour market analysis is connected to a mid-range account of capitalism’s uneven development in histor...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The general aim of this project is to develop the definitive assessment of the past 30 years of IMF-supported economic adjustment. The project examines the evolving character of IMF-supported policies, documents in detail country experiences with the IMF, and assesses the effects of such policies on selected policy areas.