The World Bank's development economics vice-presidency (DEC)
At Issue|Robin Broad|20th November 2006|update 53|url
A shorter, fully-formatted PDF version of this briefing is also available.
Robin Broad, professor in the School of International Service at American University, describes six mechanisms by which the World Bank's development economics vice-presidency (DEC) performs a "paradigm-maintenance" role, privileging individuals whose work "resonates" with the neo-liberal free-market ideology.
Unbeknownst to most who work on the World Bank, this institution is not only the main lender of public money in the world. It is also the world's largest development research body, centred in DEC1. DEC is important because it serves as a research department for other bilateral aid agencies and other multilateral development banks, which often follow the course laid out by the Bank. So too with the World Trade Organization which, according to an internal Bank document "looks to the Bank to provide analysis on trade integration policies." And Bank research is consulted by policy-makers across the globe. In academia, as well, relevant courses often rely heavily on Bank research papers. In short, DEC is the research powerhouse of the development world.
The Bank likes to claim that DEC conducts the cr