The Political Economy of Development

The Political Economy of Development : The World Bank, Neoliberalism and Development Research

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Any student, academic or practitioner wanting to succeed in development studies, radical or mainstream, must understand the World Bank's role and the evolution of its thinking and activities. The Political Economy of Development provides tools for gaining this understanding and applies them across a range of topics.

The research, practice and scholarship of development are always set against the backdrop of the World Bank, whose formidable presence shapes both development practice and thinking. This book brings together academics that specialise in different subject areas of development and reviews their findings in the context of the World Bank as knowledge bank, policy-maker and financial institution. The volume offers a compelling contribution to our understanding of development studies and of development itself.

The Political Economy of Development is an invaluable critical resource for students, policy-makers and activists in development studies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 22mm | 439.98g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white line drawings, black & white tables, figures
  • 0745331033
  • 9780745331034
  • 982,925

Table of contents


Part I: Preliminaries and Principles

1. The World Bank, Neoliberalism and Development Research, by Elisa Van Waeyenberge, Ben Fine and Kate Bayliss

2. A Knowledge Bank? by Elisa Van Waeyenberge and Ben Fine

Part II: Research in Practice

3. Understanding Aid at the Bank, by Elisa Van Waeyenberge

4. A Cup Half Full: The World Bank's Assessment of Water Privatisation, by Kate Bayliss

5. Social Capital and Health, by Ben Fine

6. World Bank Research on HIV/AIDS: Praise Where It's Due?, by Deborah Johnston

7. Agriculture in the World Bank: Blighted Harvest Persists, by Carlos Oya

8. A Policy Wrapped in 'Analysis' - The World Bank's Case for Foreign Banks, by Paulo L dos Santos

9. Hard Science or Waffly Crap? Evidence-Based Policy versus Policy Based Evidence in the Field of Violent Conflict, by Christopher Cramer and Jonathan Goodhand

10. The Washington Consensus and the China Anomaly, by Dic Lo

Part III: Continuity or Change?

11. Whither World Bank Research?, by Ben Fine, Elisa Van Waeyenberge and Kate Bayliss


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Review quote

'Bayliss, Fine and Van Waeyenberge do a great service by putting together what I believe to be the first book, and certainly the most comprehensive, on this subject' -- Dr Robin Broad, Professor at American University, Washington DC and co-author of Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match 'Excellent... a profound, convincing critique of the World Bank approach to development research and policy' -- Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru university, New Delhi, and the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (IDEA) 'This powerful volume provides a highly effective critique of the 'knowledge' activities of the World Bank' -- Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, author of Kicking Away the Ladder and Bad Samaritans
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About Dr. Elisa Van Waeyenberge

Kate Bayliss is Research Partner at the Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR) at SOAS, University of London. She is the co-editor of The Political Economy of Development (Pluto, 2011). Ben Fine is Professor of Economics at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of the critical texts, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics (Pluto, 2016), co-author of Marx's 'Capital' (Pluto, 2016) and co-editor of Beyond the Developmental State (Pluto, 2013). He was awarded both the Deutscher and Myrdal Prizes in 2009. Elisa Van Waeyenberge is Research Tutor in the Department of Economics at SOAS, University of London. She is the co-editor of The Political Economy of Development (Pluto, 2011).
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