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The Creeping Politicisation of the World Bank: The Case of Corruption

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This paper looks at the increasing politicisation of the World Bank through its work on corruption. Historically, the Bank's Articles of Agreement, which forbid it from involving itself in the politics of its recipient countries, have excluded work on corruption. In the 1990s, internal and external demands grew for the Bank to address the problem of corruption, despite earlier reticence. Much research done over the past decade, often commissioned by the Bank or done in-house, has worked to turn corruption into an economic and social issue, rather than a political one, in order to conduct anti-corruption work while evading accusations that it is violating this non-political mandate. Now this pretence is gradually slipping away and the Bank is becoming overtly political, despite its Articles and a lack of international consensus that this is the direction in which it should be heading.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Birmingham

Publication date: October 1, 2004


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