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Open Letter to World Bank President Kim

How Your Anthropology Training Is the Key to the Success of the (Currently Failing) World Bank

David Lempert

Editor’s Note: In March of 2012, President Obama announced his choice of Dr Jim Yong Kim for Presidency of the World Bank. Dr Kim is the first PhD anthropologist (and medical doctor) to be named to head the World Bank and one of the few anthropologists to work for the Bank, whose leaders and ranks are largely economists. Dr Kim, a medical anthropologist, earned his PhD at Harvard in 1993.

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The Devil’s Money

A Multi-level Approach to Acceleration and Turbulence in Oil-Producing Southern Chad

Andrea Behrends and Remadji Hoinathy

ownership and the local level of the region’s people and their experiences. Several actors are brought into focus on each level. On the international level we look at the World Bank policy makers who, together with several governmental and non

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The Marketization of HIV/AIDS Governance

Public–Private Partnerships and Bureaucratic Culture in Pakistan

Ayaz Qureshi

The World Bank-financed 'Enhanced HIV and AIDS Control Program' tried to reorganize HIV/AIDS governance in Pakistan by pushing a neoliberal agenda, marketizing the provision of publicly funded HIV prevention services. NGOs and the private sector competed for contracts with the government to provide services to sex workers, drug users, transgendered people and homosexuals who were deemed 'high risk' groups for HIV. With this contractualization emerged a new bureaucratic field that emphasized 'flexible organization' and 'efficiency' in getting things done in place of the traditional bureaucratic proceduralism characteristic of the Pakistani civil service. This new corporate-style bureaucratic culture and the ambiguities of a hastily contracted (and 'efficiently' rolled out) Enhanced Program meant public funds ending up in the pockets of a few powerful actors. Instead of generating more efficiency, the marketization of services dispossessed the intended beneficiaries of the World Bank loan.

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Reforming universities in the Middle East

Trends and contestations from Egypt and Jordan

Daniele Cantini

This article addresses the core-periphery nexus by looking at some of the reform packages proposed in the 2000s in these two pivotal countries in the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the resistances they generated. These reform packages include internationalisation and privatisation policies, as well as World Bank–sponsored programmes intended to enhance the higher education sector. These programmes are marked by a high degree of isomorphism with global trends: they belong to an unquestioned centre, with peripheries as receiving points of policies elaborated elsewhere. In this article, I examine some of the resistances they were met with in Egypt and Jordan and show how their translations were shaped by the logics of the local contexts so that they were rarely implemented. Looking at post–Arab Spring developments, the article reflects on the continuity of reform packages amidst political turmoil, and the ways in which these reforms are altering or reinforcing processes of peripheralisation.

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The Traveling Model That Would Not Travel

Oil, Empire, and Patrimonialism in Contemporary Chad

Stephen P. Reyna

This article concerns a type of change involving implementation of 'traveling models'—procedural cultural plans of how to do some-thing done somewhere elsewhere. Specifically, it concerns the World Bank's traveling model of oil revenue distribution in support of Chadian development. It finds that this model is failing and that dystopia is developing in its stead. A contrasting explanation, which examines the contradictions and consequences of Chadian patrimonialism and US imperialism, is proposed to account for this state of affairs. Finally, the analysis is shown to have implications for conceptualizing patrimonialism and planning development.

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Austerity in Africa

Audit cultures and the weakening of public sector health systems

James Pfeiffer

-based financing,” among others that have been integrated into the global health lexicon. The heightened emphasis on massive data collection began to dominate global health practice nearly three decades ago and coincides with the publication of the World Bank

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Istvan Adorjan

David Harvey, A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, 247 pp., 0-19928-327-3 (paperback).

Patrick Bond, Against the global apartheid: South Africa meets the World Bank, IMF and international finance. 2nd ed. London and New York: Zed Books, 2003. 326 pp, 1-84277-393-3 (paperback).

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Capital Flows Through Language

Market English, Biopower, and the World Bank

J. Paul Narkunas

In 1997, the World Bank Group1 published in English one of its many country studies, entitled Vietnam: Education Financing. Its goal was to measure ‘what changes in educational policies will ensure that students who pass through the system today will acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for Vietnam to complete the transition successfully from a planned to a market economy’(World Bank 1997: xiii). Skills, knowledge, and attitude designate the successfully ‘educated’ Vietnamese national subjects for the bank. The educational ‘system’ performs, therefore, a disciplinary function by using the technologies of the nation state to cultivate productive humans—measured by technical expertise and computer and business skills—for transnational companies who do business in the region.

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Christine McCourt

The year 2012 saw a number of major events that featured anthropology in some form. On a global scale, these included continuing national and international economic crises and depression, the re-election of Barack Obama in the U.S. and his nomination of Dr Jim Yong Kim for Presidency of the World Bank. Dr Kim (with a PhD from Harvard in 1993) was the first anthropologist (and medical doctor) to head the World Bank and one of the few anthropologists to work for the Bank, whose leaders and ranks are largely economists. Obama was the president dubbed an anthropologist as a form of populist or anti-intellectualist critique (McCourt 2012), providing an illuminating vision of the, oft en negative, popular view of anthropology as well as other disciplines.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

In any region of the world, in any country, each beginning of the year offers us a scenario for potential changes, purposes, goals and hopes, and 2019 does not have to be the exception. Despite various forecasts of slower global economic growth in the coming year (World Bank, Forbes, Reuters), and despite the latest reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on stressful atmospheric conditions, among other environmental discomforts around the planet, we cannot limit our human capacity to see the future with courage and optimism.