Of 'accountants' and 'europeanists' - Conflicting Logics of Action Between Troika Institutions

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Turnbull Room (University of Glasgow)
Susanne Patrizia Lütz , Political Science, Free University Berlin
Sven Hilgers , Political Science, Free University Berlin
Sebastian Schneider , International Political Economy, Free University Berlin
The eurozone crisis gave rise to a novel collaboration between international organizations that provided financial assistance to several European countries. The IMF, European Commission and ECB formed the so-called troika which negotiated lending conditionalities and economic adjustment programs with debtor countries and monitored program implementation. In this paper we focus particularly on the IMF and the EC. While both institutions share the overall goal of returning the debtor country to the private capital market, they differ with respect to program design and lending conditionalities. The IMF’s main concern is to safeguard the repayment of its loans. The conceptual tool and main criterion it applies to all its lending programs is debt sustainability. Where this criterion is met, the IMF proves to be flexible regarding program details. The EC’s priority is to keep the eurozone intact while improving its competitiveness and that of its member states. Insofar the EC tends to be stricter in terms of structural program conditionalities and deficit targets. By drawing on primary sources and on 70 expert interviews with troika institutions and debtor states, conducted between 2009 and 2016, we scrutinize the different values, means and policy instruments the IMF and the EC promote. In a second step we discuss the origins and further implications of these conflicting logics of action for the European Monetary Union.
  • SL-SH-SS-Paper Approaches-CES-Glasgow.pdf (251.9 kB)