From social dimensions of adjustment to poverty reduction strategy papers : the evolving and revolving world bank discourse on poverty 1987-2003

PhD Thesis

Nnadi, Adrianne Madaris 2005. From social dimensions of adjustment to poverty reduction strategy papers : the evolving and revolving world bank discourse on poverty 1987-2003. PhD Thesis University of East London University of East London
AuthorsNnadi, Adrianne Madaris
TypePhD Thesis

The World Bank is a major development and lending institution, and as such often
sets important aspects of the development agenda. The goal of poverty reduction has
in recent years become the World Bank's institutional objective. With poverty
reduction as the declared aim, the study looks at the World Bank's main instruments
for achieving this goal, i.e. policy-based lending, and how the Bank's approaches to,
and discourse on poverty have changed since its creation in 1946 up to the current
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach.
The hypothesis of this study was that the Bank's understanding of poverty and
development has not evolved so much as it has revolved since the 1970s. The study
found that the institution had evolved in process, but not in macroeconomic
frameworks. Therefore, the neo-liberal paradigms in place do not lead to a
fundamental questioning or reshaping of the Bank's approach to Africa. The thesis
argues that the purpose of these frameworks may deliberately and/or unconsciously
be to reproduce the global capitalist system, but in the context of the poverty
reduction objective, it raises unrealistic expectations for donor and recipient. The
Bank would be strengthened as an institution by being more conscious of its
revolving history and by being more forthright about policy aims.
The Bank has not been the only actor who has recast its objectives vis-a-vis poverty
reduction. The study also critically investigates how two very different recipient
countries have been active in interpreting poverty through their own national policies,
and the ways in which these policies and discourses now replicate those manifested at
an international level.

KeywordsWorld Bank; Poverty and development
Publication dates
PrintNov 2005
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jul 2014
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