Summary WDR97 provides the basis for creating a reasonable working consensus about the role of government in development. It achieves this not by providing specific policy conclusions on which we can all agree – the Report itself makes few such claims – but rather by providing a language, a perspective, and a set of concepts and concerns that will make it easier for people with divergent views actually to debate and discuss with one another in a productive way. However, the relatively open approach of the Report to a variety of ideas and perspectives does have some adverse consequences. The lack of a strong and clear sense of policy direction may please academics and intellectuals, but will leave policymakers groping for direct advice. And the Report pays very little attention to the ways in which the causes of and remedies for poor governance in developing and transitional countries lie outside their own frontiers, in the international system or in the governments of the rich countries.