• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Sarah Milne
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

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:

  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

  1. Country case study 1500 (30) [LO 1]
  2. Thematic essay 3000 (60) [LO 2]
  3. Participation in seminar discussion 500 (10) [LO 3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


30 hours lectures and seminars; 90 hours reading and writing

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

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. 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:
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
2019 $3360
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4693 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View
4927 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 Online View

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