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Behind the Development BanksWashington Politics, World Poverty, and the Wealth of Nations$
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Sarah Babb

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226033648

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226033679.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Behind the Development Banks
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226033679.003.0001

The World Bank is the leading member of a group of organizations that are officially in the business of realizing the motto “Our dream is a world free of poverty.” The U.S. government is the banks' most important shareholder and has consistently been at the lead of shareholder initiatives to reform the banks over the past several decades. This book is about the role of Washington politics in forging U.S. policies toward the multilateral development banks (MDBs) over the past several decades and the role of U.S. policies in shaping the banks' ideas and activities. It also argues that the banks' ideas and activities are generated at the intersection of national politics and expert knowledge. Then, it demonstrates that U.S. administrations have learned to use the uncertainties of the congressional approval process to their advantage. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords:   multilateral development banks, World Bank, U.S. government, Washington politics, U.S. policies, national politics, expert knowledge, U.S. administrations

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