Reading the Evolution of the World Bank’s Development Discourse on the Economic Theory


Continuous impact of the international institutions and organizations on the world economic order would not be repudiated. One of them is the World Bank (WB). Bank was established for the purpose of reconstruction of the Western Europe, which was destroyed subsequent to the Second World War, and it also has the characteristic of being an institution determining the development discourses in the world. Bank specifies its development discourse in line with the evolution of the economic theories. On the other hand, it also contributes to the evolution of the economic theory by means of the development discourses it composes. Therefore, it is possible to make mention about the existence of a two-way process between development discourse of the Bank and the evolution of economic theories. This two-way process has been illuminated in this study. It has been demonstrated that Bank has developed a discourse in parallel with the basic principles of Neoclassical theory, Keynesian theory, Harrod-Domar growth model and Neo-Marxist theory from its foundation until the mid-1960s. Since the 1970s, Bank has adopted a discourse based on neoliberal theory as a result of the Keynesian theory’s responseless to the particular structural problems. The rise of the New Institutional Theory in the 1990s brought about Bank’s adoption of discourse which focuses on the state-market cooperation. It would be feasible to claim that Bank has carved out a discourse which hinges on sustainable development in period from the 2000s to the present. However, it is thought that the discourse being constituted both in 1990s and in 2000s has not been parted from the core of the neoliberal theory.

Anahtar Kelimeler

World Bank development Keynesian Theory Neoliberal Theory New Institutionalism