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They do so by inviting readers on a journey through the rise and fall of the one-size-fits-all model of development that richer nations began imposing on poorer ones three decades ago. That model—called the “Washington Consensus” by its backers and “neoliberalism” or “market fundamentalism” by its critics—placed enormous power in markets to solve the problems of the poor. The book provides a key foundation for understanding how this model led to the current global economic meltdown, and why more trade and more aid are not the answer.
Broad and Cavanagh guide us through the raging debates over the best routes to development for the poorer nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The authors have stood at the epicenter of these debates from their perches in the United Nations, the U.S. government, academia, and civil society. They lead us back in time to understand why the Washington Consensus dominated for so long, and how it devastated workers, the environment, and the poor. At the same time, they chart the rise of an “alter-globalization” movement of those adversely affected by market fundamentalism. Today, this movement is putting alternatives into action across the globe, and what constitutes development is being redefined.
As the authors present this dramatic confrontation of paradigms, they bring into question the entire conventional notion of “development,” and offer readers a new lens through which to view the way forward for poorer nations and poorer people.
This brief history of development provides the context to understand the contemporary global crises of finance, food, and climate.
Read an article on the World Bank by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh in the Modesto Bee at World Bank Article. Read a piece on Swear Off 'Market Fundamentalism' by the authors in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Development Redefined was featured in an oped in The Guardian in the UK: Guardian oped
Development Redefined: A Time Line
1 What Is Development? 1
2 The Washington Consensus Emerges 13
3 The Citizen Backlash Erupts (with Walden Bello) 27
4 Myths About the Environment Strengthen 41
5 The North-South Divide Widens 53
6 The Washington Consensus Cracks 67
7 Post-9/11: Myths About Aid and Trade Resurface 79
8 New Lenses on Development 91
About the Authors 139