An examination of the World Bank's policies and culture reveal a supranational, non-democratic and extremely powerful institution which functions much like the medieval Church or a monolithic political party, relying on rigid doctrine, hierarchy and a rejection of dissenting ideas to perpetuate its influence.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".
This book takes readers on a journey through the rise and fall of the one-size-fits-all model of development that richer nations began imposing on poorer ones three decades ago. It brings into question the entire conventional notion of “development,” and offers readers a new lens through which to view the way forward for poorer nations and poorer people.
Foreign aid is supposed to be benign and selfless, yet often harms more than it helps, and benefits givers more than receivers. This thoughtful book argues that aid must be made less of a problem, more of a solution.
Today, just as faith in deregulated markets has evaporated in the nightmare on Wall Street, so too is the long reign of market fundamentalism (or neoliberalism) ending in the development arena. And, a debate over the best route to development has returned.