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Title: Exploring the emergence of a new aid regime : selectivity, knowledge and the World Bank
Author: van Waeyenberge, Elisa
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis focuses on the redefinition of conditionality away from finance for the promise of policy reform to disbursement of funds conditional on what has already been achieved, 'selectivity'. This has dovetailed with a self-assigned knowledge role for the donor community, especially the World Bank. These shifts are set in the political, economic and financial realities bearing upon aid in general, and around the World Bank in particular, and against the backdrop of a projected move away from the Washington Consensus towards a more 'holistic' approach to development associated with the post-Washington Consensus and the Comprehensive Development Framework. The study closely examines how aid, development and knowledge are understood in the economic propositions drawn upon to support the new aid paradigm. The implications for the realities of development - particularly in those countries that remain dependent on aid for their access to external finance - are explored. Special attention is given to the World Bank's assessment tool at the core of its aid allocation mechanism, the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA), and how this sits within the evolving understanding of development projected by the World Bank. This reveals the persistence of the Washington Consensus agenda at the core of World Bank practices, often at variance with its rhetoric. Recent shifts in the CPIA indicate how these imperatives have become more entrenched and less visible in World Bank practices, veiling the contradictions resulting from the conjunction of its discursive shifts and the persistence of a set of economic and financial imperatives. Through both CPIA-steered selectivity and the exercise of the World Bank's knowledge role, a much tighter, yet less visible web of control has been spun over policymaking in low income countries despite the oft-reiterated commitment to 'ownership' and 'partnership' principles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral