Summary WDR97 is an attempt to reconcile the ‘Washington consensus’ with the ‘East Asian model’. It underscores the complementarity existing between state and market, the need to reinvigorate the state’s institutions, and the damage caused by the recent over?withdrawal of the state in many developing and transitional economies. It presents reasonable suggestions in the field of social policy, decentralisation, regulation and participation. Yet, the definition of the long?term role of the state is reductionist. And the stance on key economic policies remains dogmatic: privatisation is presented as always efficiency enhancing, trade liberalisation as a universal source of growth, and portfolio flows as an essential contribution to higher savings. In addition, little is said about the impact and governance implications of globalisation. This persistent dogmatism is dangerous: even with major improvements in governance, economic performance may remain disappointing if the basic policy stand remains unaltered. It is difficult to assess the influence that WDR97 will have on the World Bank’s policies and operations. Obviously ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’.