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State Formation as an Institutional Phenomenon

State Formation as an Institutional Phenomenon

(p.146) Chapter Six State Formation as an Institutional Phenomenon
Beyond the World Bank Agenda
Howard Stein
University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates the way in which the Bank began to reconceptualize the nature and role of states and push a neoclassical vision of the part they play in development. The main focus is on civil service reform, an important element of the World Bank agenda after 1980. Moreover, when considering the major development success stories of our time, it is quite clear that consistency in the quality and capacities of the civil service was a key factor. The chapter also attempts to generate a vision of state formation as an agent of development, in opposition to the views underlying neoliberal reforms. It argues, following Myrdal and Higgins, and contrary to the position of the World Bank, that conditions in developing countries justify greater—not less—state responsibility for development.

Keywords:   World Bank, states, development, civil service reform, developing countries, state responsibility, state formation

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