The vulnerabilities of a small open economy
: The economic transition of Macedonia and the IMF

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This dissertation explores the impact of the neo-liberal policy programme suggested by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) on the economic transition of Macedonia. The objective of this thesis is to investigate the extent to which the IMF stance impacted upon and influenced the policies of Macedonia. My work fits into a tradition of literature exploring the body of knowledge on economic growth. Specifically, this study provides an insight into the involvement of international financial institutions (IFI) and their contribution to the vulnerability of the present economic situation in Macedonia.
    I tackle this research through a combination of complexity theory and critical realism, which bring a contemporary perspective on economic policy and one that is frequently absent in the mainstream literature. By considering in depth the context that underlies to policy, complexity theory argues that complex systems cannot be analysed in isolation from their context. My critique of the IMF begins from this foundation and I challenge its universalising norms and the traditional economic theory they depend on. This thesis uses a mixed-methods approach with a predominantly qualitative focus. It employs quantitative analysis of secondary data, documentary analysis of the IMF reports issued for the Macedonian economy in the period 1992-2014, and qualitative analysis of primary data collected through semi-structured interviews.
    This study makes a theoretical contribution, by using the original perspective of complexity theory in the economic analysis of the economic reform process. Thus, the thesis can be considered as a useful case study that could be used more widely by those exploring small, open economies that are to some extent still struggling with the process of transition and the way they have been affected by the economic policies. Finally, considering the more narrowly focused investigation of the Macedonian context, this thesis contributes to the literature by exploring the Macedonian economy and its process of transition using literature in the local language.
    Date of Award15 Nov 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton

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