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The Ascendancy of Economics in the World Bank, 1944–1979

The Ascendancy of Economics in the World Bank, 1944–1979

From Infrastructure to Structural Adjustment

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter One The Ascendancy of Economics in the World Bank, 1944–1979
Source:
Beyond the World Bank Agenda
Author(s):
Howard Stein
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226771656.003.0001

This chapter investigates the origin, nature, and evolution of policies in the World Bank, focusing on the period from 1944 to 1980. It considers some of the competing theories about the nature of international organizations in international relations. Policy transformation in any large organization such as the Bank results from a confluence of factors interacting with an array of existing structures and interests. Various elements influencing policy are analyzed: the power of the Bank's constituent members, the ways in which the United States has asserted its dominance in the Bank, and the relation between American interests, organizational changes, and the ascendancy of economists.

Keywords:   World Bank, international organizations, international relations, United States, American interests, policy, economists

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