The World Bank and Africa: The Construction of Governance States (Routledge Advances in International Political Economy)
Shortlisted for the Inaugural International Political Economy Group annual book prize, 2006.
An incisive exploration of the interventions of the World Bank in severely indebted African states. Understanding sovereignty as a frontier rather than a boundary, this key study develops a vision of a powerful international organization reconciling a global political economy with its own designs and a specific set of challenges posed by the African region. This analysis details the nature of the World Bank intervention in the sovereign frontier, investigating institutional development, discursive intervention, and political stabilization. It tackles the methods by which the World Bank has led a project to re-shape certain African states according to a governance template, leading to the presentation of 'success stories' in a continent associated with reform failure.
This conceptually innovative book details a political economy of the World Bank in Africa that is both globally contextualized and attentive to individual states. It is the only volume to look at the bank's relations with Africa and will interest all students and researchers of African politics and the World Bank.
narrative of renewal, or a return to ‘normality’. There is an imagery of the phoenix behind all of this – a governance renaissance forged out of the ﬁres of previous instability, resistance to conditionality, and economic decline, something to which we will return in Chapter 6. One example of this, quite naïve in its patronising formulation, is a research report titled ‘Tanzania: is the ugly duckling ﬁnally growing up?’27 The common new beginnings (imagined or real) between governance states have
inﬂuence does not just manifest itself through the power of money and the integration of donors into the routines of government. Chapter 6 will show that the discourse of the World Bank concerning governance and administrative reform contributed to the strength of its interventions. The key themes of this discourse are very much present in Uganda and Tanzania’s policy documents: participation, ownership, citizens as customers, etc. But, governance states also encapsulate a deeper change which
2000/2001: Chapter 4; World Bank 2000b: 12). Liberalism and the discourse of reform 103 In sum, the ‘topology’ of liberal governance discourse draws key liberal nostrums into a speciﬁc political milieu. Governance states’ politics is one of moving towards a stable equilibrium based on social interaction, dialogue and mutual concession. The outcome of these deliberations is intrinsically progressive and not subject to any structural contradictions as one might imagine would emerge from class
public good’ of equal provenance with world peace, a sustainable environment and ‘basic knowledge’. (Moore 1999: 66) The Bank’s concern is to promote the creation of market relations which are regulated through the institutional supremacy of the rule of law and property rights. Faced with a complex and diverse set of social relations of trade, production and accumulation sketched in Chapter 1, the state is exhorted to forge a regulated market: not in the sense of selective subsidy, minimum wages
is restricted military spending, which, as Museveni has illustrated, might ﬁt with liberal ideals of peacetime governance, but which contradicts with concerns to maintain stability in a region of the world where many states have recently and tenuously reestablished civic order and rebuilt their own capacities to (in some or other) regulate society. The World Bank estimated that in 1992, military expenditure in Uganda amounted to one third of total public spending and one half of recurrent