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Palgrave Macmillan UK
Reclaiming Development Agendas: Knowledge, Power and International Policy Making

Reclaiming Development Agendas: Knowledge, Power and International Policy Making

by Peter UttingPeter Utting


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As international development organizations prioritize poverty reduction, position themselves as knowledge agencies and talk of good governance and empowerment, many are asking whether these approaches are likely to result in patterns of development that are more socially inclusive and equitable. This volume addresses this question by examining the determinants of discursive and policy change in multi-lateral and bilateral development agencies, as welt as the potential and limits of what has been called the new development agenda. The contributors are leading thinkers on development issues, several of whom have played a prominent role in international organizations and social movements. They analyse the interrelationships between knowledge, power and policy making, and the contribution of recent policy and institutional reforms by focusing, in particular, on the World Bank and the United Nations, as well as specific themes which include poverty reduction strategies, gender equality, education policy, global social policy, and institutional innovations associated with knowledge agencies. What emerges is a powerful critique of contemporary development-speak and policy, as well as important insights into alternative strategies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781403994943
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 05/02/2006
Edition description: 2006
Pages: 249
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

KAREN BROCK Consultant
ANDREW CORNWALL Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK
BOB DEACON Professor of International Social Policy, University of Sheffield, UK
LOUIS EMMERIJ Co-Director of the United Nations Intellectual History Project, Senior Fellow, Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
NORMAN GIRVAN Professional Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations, University of West Indies, Trinidad
SHALMALI GUTTAL Senior Associate at Focus on the Global South, Bangkok
RICHARD JOLLY Professor at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK
KENNETH KING Professor of International and Comparative Education and Director of the Centre for African Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO United Nations Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, Switzerland
GITA SEN Sir Ratan Tata Chair Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and Adjunct Professor of Population and International Health, Faculty of Public Health, Harvard University, USA
JOHN TOYE Senior Research Associate of Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, UK
RICHARD TOYE Lecturer in History, Homerton College, Cambridge, UK
THOMAS G. WEISS Presidential Professor of Political Science, The CUNY Graduate Centre and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, USA

Table of Contents

Foreword: Some Reflections on the Links Between Social Knowledge and Policy   Jose Antonio Ocampo     viii
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms     xv
Notes on the Contributors     xviii
Introduction: Reclaiming Development Agendas   Peter Utting     1
About this book     1
Understanding the knowledge-policy nexus     2
Ideas, institutions and power     6
The potential and limits of mainstream reform     10
Alternative approaches     15
Convergence for development?     19
Challenging the Knowledge Business   Shalmali Guttal     25
Introduction     25
The business of knowledge and knowledge as business     27
The power of finance     29
Selling large infrastructure     31
Green science     32
Transforming risks into opportunities     33
Establishing hegemony: the politics of knowledge use     34
De-politicizing development     36
Challenging the discourse: towards a new politics of knowledge     38
The New Buzzwords   Andrea Cornwall   Karen Brock     43
Introduction     43
Discourses and dissonances     45
The art of euphemism in an era of declared consensus     49
Operationalizing the new consensus: the MDGs and PRSPs     56
Of myths and Utopias     66
Conclusion     69
The Search for Policy Autonomy in the Global South   Norman Girvan     73
Introduction     73
Development economics and policy autonomy     73
Neoliberalism and its dissidents     74
In celebration of diversity     78
Social learning as a resource     82
Regionalism and policy autonomy     84
The World Bank as a Knowledge Agency   John Toye   Richard Toye     90
Social knowledge and international policy making     91
Institutional constraints on creative research     95
The new development agenda     99
Operational changes     104
Knowledge Management and the Global Agenda for Education   Kenneth King     108
Global agenda-setting     110
The new aid agenda and modalities     117
The era of the knowledge agency     121
The Quest for Gender Equality   Gita Sen     128
Introduction     128
Illustrations of policy change      129
The politics of policy advocacy     134
The politics of discourse     138
Implications for the making of social policy change     141
Conclusion     143
Global Social Policy Reform   Bob Deacon     144
Introduction     144
The struggle over ideas matters     146
The fall and rise of universalism in international discourse about national social policy     148
Global social policy: has its time come?     155
Global social redistribution, regulation and rights     157
The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization (WCSDG)     162
Network, projects, task forces and policy coherence initiatives: elements of the counter-hegemonic project?     164
Regionalization or globalization?     169
Researching global social policy     169
Back to the politics of global social policy     176
Generating Knowledge in the United Nations   Louis Emmerij   Richard Jolly   Thomas G. Weiss     176
Introduction     176
Towards an intellectual history of the United Nations     177
Ideas and social knowledge in the UN system     179
The impact of ideas on international policy making      184
The linkages between research outside and inside the UN     189
Independent and critical thinking     198
Conclusions     201
Notes     203
References     214
Index     235

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