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Title: Consent and coercion : the World Bank in Tanzania 1970-2001
Author: Holtom, D. R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2003
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Commentators are almost unanimous in declaring the World Bank (hereafter ‘The Bank’) ‘powerful’, yet focus upon only one dimension of the Bank’s power, its coercive power. The thesis contends that this presentation of the Bank’s ‘power’ is simultaneously over- and underdeveloped, suggesting an overweening financial (coercive) power, while overlooking the Bank’s discursive power. To address this lacuna, the thesis draws upon the work of Gramsci and Foucault to analyse the Bank’s role in shaping Tanzanian policies. In exploring the Bank’s power, the thesis is based upon a literature review, discourse analysis and a series of semi-structured interviews. This provides the basis for a reinterpretation of the Bank’s role in two crises in Tanzania (1979-1985 and 1993-1995), apparently resolved by the Bank’s coercive power. The thesis contends that, in each case, discursive change was a precondition for policy change. Conversely, in the period thereafter (1995-2001). Tanzania appears at the forefront of the Bank’s consensual reorientation. This period is also ripe for reappraisal: ‘success’ may have been facilitated by ‘consensual’ discursive power but, it is still underpinned by coercive power. The thesis concludes that the relationship between the state and Bank may be one of inter-dependence, but that the acquiescence of states to Bank-sponsored reforms cannot be reduced to a political (and economic) calculation of the need for aid to sustain the state. Discursive (‘third order’) change within government is an important precondition and cannot be bought about by coercive power alone. The Bank’s discursive power can help but remains dependent upon wider discursive forces, over which the Bank has little control. Moreover, although discursive change may be a necessary, it is not a sufficient condition to guarantee policy reforms. Even a hegemonic neo-liberal discourse would not represent the sole discourse constitutive of political elites ‘subjectivities’ and economically ‘irrational’ policies may still be pursed to secure other ‘interests’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available