By Kyle Barron
Kyle is one of AIDemocracy’s 2010-2011 Issue Analysts. Find out more about Kyle below or take a look at the  Student Issue Analysts.

The recent debt crisis in Greece kindled protests against spending cuts and tax increases imposed by the government. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union prescribed these austerity measures as conditions to the aid packages aimed at solving the financial tumult.  To the Greek people in the streets the international financial architecture is not just an ambiguous collection of acronyms, but institutions that dictate financial well-being and political stability. 

The IMF, World Bank and many other entities that make up the international financial architecture were formed in the 1940’s.  World War II demonstrated that nations’ fates were inextricably woven together and the World Bank and the IMF were formed to provide reasonable loans to nations in economic crisis and ultimately reduce poverty throughout the world.

Though poverty eradication remains a stated objective to this day, many critics claim that their policies overwhelmingly conform to the fundamentalist liberal economic doctrine of the United States.  This criticism is reflected in numerous protests- most notably the riots during the 1999 World Trade Organization conference in Seattle and even this past summer in Ontario where over 600 protestors were arrested at the G-20 summit.  Protesting is often the only manner in which young people feel that they can influence international economics.  But the positions now occupied by Cold War economists will soon be filled by young people sitting in college classrooms around the world.

The international financial architecture was born from a century of conflict.  Young people have the power to change the course of history, and instead of dictating economic policy through austerity programs from above, developed and struggling economies can work together for mutually beneficial relationships. Protestors in the streets can transform the international economic structures already in place and usher in a new era of cooperation. 

Colorado native Kyle Barron graduated from Arizona  State University with a degree in Political Science and a  certificate in Latin American studies.  Studying in Mexico sparked her interest in Political Economy and international financial architecture.  She resides in Tempe,  AZ and enjoys playing music, sews like the wind, and is currently interning with the Arizona-Mexico Commission while looking forward to her future studies at NYU.