The Political Economy of the World Bank's Discourse; From Economic Catechism to Missionary Deeds (and Misdeeds) - Sciences Po Access content directly
Journal Articles Les Études du CERI Year : 1998

The Political Economy of the World Bank's Discourse; From Economic Catechism to Missionary Deeds (and Misdeeds)

Abstract

Following the example of the colonizers, who were quick to adopt a simplified image of Africa and a normative approach to its complex and apparently incoherent realities, international lenders have developed a perception of Africa and a philosophy of intervention that are both simplistic and norm-driven. This image has not evolved in its form ; its philosophical foundations have remained unquestioned since the 1980s. Until the middle of the last decade, only technical aspects of the economy were taken into account : economic difficulties in Africa stemmed from the pursuit of wrongheaded economic programs, on the one hand, and insufficient market mechanisms on the other. Since the middle and especially the end of the 1980s, and in response to footdragging, resistance, and reversals, as well as the supposed inefficiency of reforms, certain institutional and political factors were integrated into this paradigm. Nonetheless, the philosophy and the method have remained the same: the political is treated as a technical and supplementary variable, only mobilized to affirm the prevailing discourse.
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hal-03608752 , version 1 (15-03-2022)

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Béatrice Hibou. The Political Economy of the World Bank's Discourse; From Economic Catechism to Missionary Deeds (and Misdeeds). Les Études du CERI, 1998, 39, pp.1-42. ⟨hal-03608752⟩
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