As an instrument of international economic policy, conditionality is on the increase. During the last decade the World Bank, the bilateral aid agencies and more recently the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have made extensive use of conditionality as an instrument for making their finance more effective. At the same time, the scope of conditionality has widened to take in political and environmental considerations as well as the traditional concerns of economic policy. However, the effectiveness of such conditionality, either in changing policies or in improving the state of recipient economies, has seldom been examined. This book brings together theoretical and empirical analyses of conditionality and its side-effects by major donors, countributors from recipient countries and independent observers of the international finance scene. These analyses show that donors must pursue alternative objectives to the enforcement of conditionality, such as quick disbursement, and that the bargaining power of recipients has increased.
While accepting the need for adjustment in developing countries, therefore the contributors are generally sceptical concerning the degree of such adjustment which external agencies can impose.