D o w n l o a d e d B y : [ Y o u n a s , M o h a m m a d ] A t : 1 1 : 3 6 8 J a n u a r y 2 0 0 8
In Search of the Post-Washington(Dis)consensus: the ‘missing’ contentof PRSPS
The policy-making context in the ‘South’ would seem to havechanged in recent years, potentially opening space for alternative voices. Theinternational ﬁnancial institutions no longer overtly insist on policy content. The‘locally owned’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (
) has become the mainvehicle for policy. Many have argued
s represent a ‘remorphing’ of neoliberalism or the Washington Consensus as practised by the international ﬁnancial institutions for much of the 1980s and 1990s. However, although muchresearch on
s has focused on the process of
production and the extentof participation, the outcome of the
—and itscontent has received relatively limited attention. This article is an exploratory piece. Taking the content of 50
s the following question is posed: has the
process opened space for something new, Stiglitz’s post-WashingtonConsensus, or for the reproduction of the former Washington Consensus?
The policy-making context in the ‘South’ would seem to have changed inrecent years, potentially opening space for alternative voices. First, the
and World Bank no longer formally insist on the content of policy. The‘locally owned’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (
) has become themain policy vehicle. The June 2005 G8 communique ´declared: ‘developingcountries...need to decide, plan and sequence their economic policies to ﬁttheir own development strategies...explicit endorsement of the
by theExecutive Boards of the two institutions [the
and the World Bank] is nolonger required for
[Poverty Reduction Growth Facility] lending’.
Whether unorthodox policies in
s would make it to board level or be‘ﬁltered’ earlier on in the process is, however, an open question.Second, the policy discourse ‘space’ has potentially opened up somewhat.In May 2004 James Wolfensohn, then president of the World Bank,observed: ‘the Washington Consensus has been dead for years. It has beenreplaced by all sorts of other consensuses’.
Many dispute this demise,arguing that the
s represent ‘a remorphing of neo-liberal approaches’
Andrew Sumner is in the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, London South Bank University, 103 BoroughRoad, London SE1 0AA, UK. Email: email@example.com.
Third World Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 8, pp 1401–1412, 2006
ISSN 0143-6597 print/ISSN 1360-2241 online/06/081401–12
Third World Quarterly