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IDS Bulletin Vol. 29 Nos. 2

The Limitations of the World Bank’s Conception of the State and the Implications for Institutional Development Strategies

Published on 1 April 1998

Summary WDR97 has reinstated firmly on the international agenda the role of the state in development ? not with notions of the state as the chief engine of growth, but with notions of the state as a set of institutions required to provide a framework for private sector development and the proper functioning of the market. The emphasis in the Report is on how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the state in this context. What is required to complement the analyses in the Report is: a better understanding of the variety of ways in which different states are embedded in societies; a broader understanding of the non?economic roles of states; more attention to the social biases embodied in most institutional arrangements; and the need for démocratisation, not simply to improve performance in the economic sense, but rather to improve performance in a political sense – to promote participation for all adult citizens and responsiveness, transparency and accountability on the part of the public authorities.

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Martinussen, J. (1998) The Limitations of the World Bank's Conception of the State and the Implications for Institutional Development Strategies. IDS Bulletin 29(2): 67-74

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Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
authors
Martinussen, John

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