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Despite massive investment of money and research aimed at ameliorating third-world poverty, the development strategies of the international financial institutions over the past few decades have been a profound failure. Under the tutelage of the World Bank, developing countries have experienced lower growth and rising inequality compared to previous periods. In Beyond the W Despite massive investment of money and research aimed at ameliorating third-world poverty, the development strategies of the international financial institutions over the past few decades have been a profound failure. Under the tutelage of the World Bank, developing countries have experienced lower growth and rising inequality compared to previous periods. In Beyond the World Bank Agenda, Howard Stein argues that the controversial institution is plagued by a myopic, neoclassical mindset that wrongly focuses on individual rationality and downplays the social and political contexts that can either facilitate or impede development.             Drawing on the examples of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and transitional European economies, this revolutionary volume proposes an alternative vision of institutional development with chapter-length applications to finance, state formation, and health care to provide a holistic, contextualized solution to the problems of developing nations. Beyond the World Bank Agenda will be essential reading for anyone concerned with forging a new strategy for sustainable development.           


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Despite massive investment of money and research aimed at ameliorating third-world poverty, the development strategies of the international financial institutions over the past few decades have been a profound failure. Under the tutelage of the World Bank, developing countries have experienced lower growth and rising inequality compared to previous periods. In Beyond the W Despite massive investment of money and research aimed at ameliorating third-world poverty, the development strategies of the international financial institutions over the past few decades have been a profound failure. Under the tutelage of the World Bank, developing countries have experienced lower growth and rising inequality compared to previous periods. In Beyond the World Bank Agenda, Howard Stein argues that the controversial institution is plagued by a myopic, neoclassical mindset that wrongly focuses on individual rationality and downplays the social and political contexts that can either facilitate or impede development.             Drawing on the examples of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and transitional European economies, this revolutionary volume proposes an alternative vision of institutional development with chapter-length applications to finance, state formation, and health care to provide a holistic, contextualized solution to the problems of developing nations. Beyond the World Bank Agenda will be essential reading for anyone concerned with forging a new strategy for sustainable development.           

30 review for Beyond the World Bank Agenda: An Institutional Approach to Development

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nils

    A good account of how the Bank shifted from a focus on poverty alleviation (and "Basic Needs," a term first promoted by the ILO) to structural adjustment, confirming 1981 as the key fulcrum year. It is perhaps a little overdrawn in claiming that the decisive change was a result of a shift in personnel with Clausen replacing McNamara as the head of the Bank that year, and Anne Kreuger replacing Hollis Chenery a year later. It's certainly true that this shift led the dropping of the language of Ba A good account of how the Bank shifted from a focus on poverty alleviation (and "Basic Needs," a term first promoted by the ILO) to structural adjustment, confirming 1981 as the key fulcrum year. It is perhaps a little overdrawn in claiming that the decisive change was a result of a shift in personnel with Clausen replacing McNamara as the head of the Bank that year, and Anne Kreuger replacing Hollis Chenery a year later. It's certainly true that this shift led the dropping of the language of Basic Needs (though "human development" was retained, and would eventually become central to the Bank's agenda in the 1990s). However, in fact it was McNamara who first promoted the idea of "structural adjustment" before he even left the Bank, sensing the way the political wind was blowing in Washington with the ascension of Reagan to the Presidency. The second half of the book is a useful account of these post-1981 policies at the Bank across a variety of different development subfields: state institutionalization, finance, and health.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sairah

    Probably the most important part of this book is Howard Stein’s in depth description of the economic theory, neoclassicism, that underlies the World Bank’s policies. These policies, particularly structural adjustment imposed on Sub-Saharan Africa in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, had devastating consequences for the populations still reeling from the traumas of colonial rule. In the introduction Stein writes, “Structural adjustment is based on neoclassical economic theories that focus on individual age Probably the most important part of this book is Howard Stein’s in depth description of the economic theory, neoclassicism, that underlies the World Bank’s policies. These policies, particularly structural adjustment imposed on Sub-Saharan Africa in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, had devastating consequences for the populations still reeling from the traumas of colonial rule. In the introduction Stein writes, “Structural adjustment is based on neoclassical economic theories that focus on individual agents exchanging goods and services to maximize utility goals relative to a set of price vectors (xvi).” Don’t let this sentence scare you. People who do not have Economics backgrounds sometimes find this kind of analysis too theoretical and inaccessible. If you feel this way, don’t be scared. Stein’s book goes on to explain in detail this statement in a totally accessible manner. He explains the theory in a pretty methodical way, gives examples, and even sums up the ideas in charts. I think having a good understanding about how this specific kind of economic theory is so present within the academy and actually put into action through policy by the International Finance Institutions is absolutely necessary to sift through all the “fighting poverty” rhetoric we hear so much today, a la Jeffrey Sachs and other “celebrity economists”. It’s time for Economics to be extricated from its fantasy world of the infallibility of price theory and with this book, Stein does just that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julia Rosa

  5. 4 out of 5

    Delvina Kolic

  6. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kilian

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Friesen

  9. 5 out of 5

    Areeta

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aishe

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aodeh

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hafsa

  13. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abegail Maliwat

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  16. 5 out of 5

    KB

  17. 4 out of 5

    Saquib

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maj

  19. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather Maoury

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sapphire Ng

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Asma' Tajul Arifin

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juliana

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael McIntyre

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kalenkiewicz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Albert Kim

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hassan Saad

  30. 5 out of 5

    Navid

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