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Saturday, February 22, 2003

The Bretton Woods Project have produced an thought-provoking assessment of the role of good governance in the World Bank's priority setting.

Their report's executive summary states that "The World Bank's 'good governance' agenda is concerned with the relationship between the state, the market, and civil society in loan-receiving countries", that "The ideal of the 'minimalist state' has been replaced with that of the 'effective state'" and that "The Bank argues that in order to be effective, the state must play a critical role in managing and regulating the market and civil society."

Although the report "welcomes the move towards a good governace agenda that attempts to establish well-functioning market economies with stable property rights, enforceable contracts, high levels of transparency, and low levels of corruption" the Brettons Wood Project is less impressed by the Bank's neoliberal philosophy "leaving the good governance agenda market-centric rather than state-centric".

The report also finds that "the Bank's faith in market mechanisms underestimates the significant challenges posed by institution-building and the need to protect the vulnerable".

You can find the complete report here...