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Whither the post-Washington Consensus? International financial institutions and development policy before and after the crisis

Whither the post-Washington Consensus? International financial institutions and development... This article explores the direction, drivers and implications of change in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank’s policy vision for developing countries before and after the global economic crisis. By examining the evolution of the Fund’s structural conditionalities and the thematic distribution of Bank commitments, it provides evidence for a significant change on the ground: a partial retreat from the post-Washington Consensus (PWC) agenda, which marked a turn-of-the-century upgrade of orthodox neoliberalism. Conceptualising the PWC as a paradigm expansion that followed severe policy failures, the analysis finds that although narrow institutional reforms towards upgrading fiscal and financial regimes remain popular, there is now less emphasis on good governance and broad institutions; meanwhile in social policy the twins increasingly diverge. It is argued that this selective disengagement is driven by extant operational imperatives and constraints, which are further intensified by changes in lending framework and ongoing transformations in development finance. Rather than constitute a paradigm shift, the partial decline of the PWC reflects an adjustment in policy practice towards increased flexibility and discretion in a progressively challenging environment. These findings have implications for the study of the twins. They also highlight the evolving parameters of North–South development cooperation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of International Political Economy Taylor & Francis

Whither the post-Washington Consensus? International financial institutions and development policy before and after the crisis

Review of International Political Economy , Volume 25 (3): 26 – May 4, 2018

Whither the post-Washington Consensus? International financial institutions and development policy before and after the crisis

Review of International Political Economy , Volume 25 (3): 26 – May 4, 2018

Abstract

This article explores the direction, drivers and implications of change in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank’s policy vision for developing countries before and after the global economic crisis. By examining the evolution of the Fund’s structural conditionalities and the thematic distribution of Bank commitments, it provides evidence for a significant change on the ground: a partial retreat from the post-Washington Consensus (PWC) agenda, which marked a turn-of-the-century upgrade of orthodox neoliberalism. Conceptualising the PWC as a paradigm expansion that followed severe policy failures, the analysis finds that although narrow institutional reforms towards upgrading fiscal and financial regimes remain popular, there is now less emphasis on good governance and broad institutions; meanwhile in social policy the twins increasingly diverge. It is argued that this selective disengagement is driven by extant operational imperatives and constraints, which are further intensified by changes in lending framework and ongoing transformations in development finance. Rather than constitute a paradigm shift, the partial decline of the PWC reflects an adjustment in policy practice towards increased flexibility and discretion in a progressively challenging environment. These findings have implications for the study of the twins. They also highlight the evolving parameters of North–South development cooperation.

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References (120)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1466-4526
eISSN
0969-2290
DOI
10.1080/09692290.2018.1459781
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the direction, drivers and implications of change in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank’s policy vision for developing countries before and after the global economic crisis. By examining the evolution of the Fund’s structural conditionalities and the thematic distribution of Bank commitments, it provides evidence for a significant change on the ground: a partial retreat from the post-Washington Consensus (PWC) agenda, which marked a turn-of-the-century upgrade of orthodox neoliberalism. Conceptualising the PWC as a paradigm expansion that followed severe policy failures, the analysis finds that although narrow institutional reforms towards upgrading fiscal and financial regimes remain popular, there is now less emphasis on good governance and broad institutions; meanwhile in social policy the twins increasingly diverge. It is argued that this selective disengagement is driven by extant operational imperatives and constraints, which are further intensified by changes in lending framework and ongoing transformations in development finance. Rather than constitute a paradigm shift, the partial decline of the PWC reflects an adjustment in policy practice towards increased flexibility and discretion in a progressively challenging environment. These findings have implications for the study of the twins. They also highlight the evolving parameters of North–South development cooperation.

Journal

Review of International Political EconomyTaylor & Francis

Published: May 4, 2018

Keywords: Development policy; good governance; IMF; institutional reform; policy paradigms; post-Washington Consensus; social policy; World Bank

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