• Offered by ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences and the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences / ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
The World Bank and the Organisation of Development (ANTH8107)

The World Bank is the most controversial institution in the world of development policy and practice.  From one point of view, it sets the agenda for most of the other actors engaged in the provision of international development assistance.  From another point of view, the constraints and policies that it imposes, by virtue of its governing body being controlled by western nations, perpetuate many of the underlying problems confronting developing countries.  This course examines the policies, procedures and practices of the World Bank through an institutional and ethnographic lens, using case study materials to show that it is not a monolithic organisation with a single mission, but a very large group of individuals working in different roles, confronting a wide variety of political and practical problems in their dealings with other actors in the development policy process.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course, students will have the ability to:

  1. Explain the significance and history of the World Bank as an actor in third world development.
  2. Critically assess the benefits and costs of World Bank engagement with particular developing countries and projects.
  3. Contribute to public debate about the benefits and costs of World Bank engagement with specific international and national development policy processes.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment Task

Word Count

Assessment Value

Learning outcome to be assessed

Country case study




Thematic essay




Participation in seminar discussion




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30 hours lectures and seminars; 90 hours reading and writing

Prescribed Texts

Use will be made of a variety of documents produced by the World bank and available from its website.  In addition, students will be directed to read extracts from other publications containing critical discussions of World Bank policies, procedures and practices, e.g.

Goldman, M., 2005.  Imperial Nature: The World Bank and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization.  New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kapur, D. et al. (eds), 1997.  The World Bank: Its First Half Century.  Washington (DC): Brookings Institution.

Seymour, F.J. et al., 2000.  The Right Conditions: The World Bank, Structural Adjustment, and Forest Policy Reform.  Washington (DC): Brookings Institution. 


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1542
2014 $2484
2013 $2478
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3618
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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