The World Bank: New Agendas in a Changing World by Michelle Miller-Adams

By Michelle Miller-Adams

This publication considers the character of switch on the international financial institution, exploring either the exterior impetous for switch, and the influence of the Bank's inner association and tradition. The author's findings are supported by means of targeted case experiences of 3 of the Bank's most crucial new agendas: * inner most area improvement * participation * governance

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In recent years such flows, which were almost nonexistent following the debt crisis, have surged, especially to those middle-income countries that represent the strongest portion of the World Bank’s portfolio. The Bank is forbidden by its charter to compete with private sources of capital. Renewed private investment thus raises questions for the Bank about how to continue its work in these countries without infringing on the activities of private investors. Regulators. The Bank is not regulated formally by any group other than the governments of its member countries (although its financial operations are governed by the securities laws of the countries in which it borrows funds).

One of the most typical buffering strategies for an organization, and one the World Bank has pursued since its establishment, is growth. Another is cooptation, the incorporation of representatives of external groups into the decision-making structure of an organization. This strategy has been evident in the approach the World Bank has taken toward some of its critics in the NGO community. Scott (1981) points out that as an organization incorporates elements of the environment into its own structure, it may introduce new, alien, and occasionally hostile elements into its own system.

The 1991 study mentioned above found that nearly 80 per cent of staff surveyed had received graduate degrees from institutions in the United States or United Kingdom (Stern 1997:587). These similarities in background and training contribute to the preservation of the Bank’s organizational culture. One study goes so far as to argue that the Bank resembles a religious institution in its pressure for conformity and belief in a single truth: Like any institution, the Bank has its own self-reinforcing culture and its codes which set the limits on what can be reasonably believed and discussed if one hopes to be taken seriously and remain a member of A theoretical overview 29 the group…Put in the same place several hundred people who have been trained in the same schools to think in the same way, recruit them precisely because they have excelled in this training…[and the] probable cultural outcome will be—at least among the economists—monolithic and fundamentalist.

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