Behind the Development Banks: Washington Politics, World Poverty, and the Wealth of Nations

Hardcover | June 15, 2009

bySarah Babb

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The World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) carry out their mission to alleviate poverty and promote economic growth based on the advice of professional economists. But as Sarah Babb argues in Behind the Development Banks, these organizations have also been indelibly shaped by Washington politics—particularly by the legislative branch and its power of the purse.

            Tracing American influence on MDBs over three decades, this volume assesses increased congressional activism and the perpetual “selling” of banks to Congress by the executive branch. Babb contends that congressional reluctance to fund the MDBs has enhanced the influence of the United States on them by making credible America’s threat to abandon the banks if its policy preferences are not followed. At a time when the United States’ role in world affairs is being closely scrutinized, Behind the Development Banks will be necessary reading for anyone interested in how American politics helps determine the fate of developing countries.

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The World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) carry out their mission to alleviate poverty and promote economic growth based on the advice of professional economists. But as Sarah Babb argues in Behind the Development Banks, these organizations have also been indelibly shaped by Washington politics—particularly by the ...

Sarah Babbis associate professor of sociology at Boston College. She is the author of Managing Mexico: Economists from Nationalism to Neoliberalism and coauthor of Economy/Society: Markets, Meanings, and Social Structure.

other books by Sarah Babb

Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:June 15, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226033643

ISBN - 13:9780226033648

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface  

Introduction

Chapter 1. The Banks and Their Shareholders

Chapter 2. The Congressional Revolt

Chapter 3. The Reagan Revolution

Chapter 4. Disciplining the Banks

Chapter 5. The Emergence of the Washington Consensus

Chapter 6. The Consensus Evolves

Chapter 7. The Banks and Civil Society

Chapter 8. Into the New Millennium

Notes  

Bibliography  

Index  

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent book about the linkage between US domestic politics and the performance of these institutions. Babb shows how the shifts in the power of right- or left-wing blocs in Congress tie various policy strictures to the funds that are approved. . . . Thus the development banks are obligated to fold into their mandates aspects of strategic, economc, and humanitarian rationales that are of current concern in Washington."