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.
On successful completion of this course, students will have the ability to:
- Explain the significance and history of the World Bank as an actor in third world development.
- Critically assess the benefits and costs of World Bank engagement with particular developing countries and projects.
- Contribute to public debate about the benefits and costs of World Bank engagement with specific international and national development policy processes.
Learning outcome to be assessed
Country case study
Participation in seminar discussion
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30 hours lectures and seminars; 90 hours reading and writing
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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Band 1
- 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.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery|
|4876||19 Feb 2018||27 Feb 2018||31 Mar 2018||25 May 2018||In Person|
|4877||19 Feb 2018||27 Feb 2018||31 Mar 2018||25 May 2018||Online|