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Assess the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in international politics and in influencing development in Latin America

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  1. The role of the IMF in international politics : its activities since its creation and the main critics it receives
  2. The economic crisis that occurred in Latin America: the world debt crisis in 1980 originating from Mexico, the 1990s crisis in Brazil and Peru and finally, in the 2000s

The first clause of the Articles of Agreement which form the bond member states are attached to under the IMF asserts that 'The International Monetary Fund was established operates in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement that was originally adopted and subsequently amended'. The Internaational monetary Fund is an international organization that was created at the Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944. Originally, the Articles of Agreement of the IMF were signed by only 29 countries, and it now has 184 members. Its general role is to 'foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.' Naturally its role changed through time but the general ideal remained the same. The Fund now concentrates its resources on helping countries from the Third World instead of European countries. Latin American countries are therefore one of the IMF's concerns since a majority of them still have developing economies and often ask for credit and/or advice. However although Latin America, has a common geographical area, it consists of very different countries with very different backgrounds. Brazil for instance is a regional power and has an immense area compared to Chile.

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