Literature Review of The New Role of the World Bank by Michael A Clemens and Michael Kremer

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1786 Words
Date:  2021-06-03

The article, The New Role of the World Bank by Michael A. Clemens and Michael Kremer, focuses on the World Bank and poverty, policy role, structure, and assessment. The aim of this review is to examine the methodology of the authors and criticize the theoretical approach of the author. Notably, the article seeks to establish if the World Bank is a multilateral institution whose rationale is to address imperfections in the international capital market and to confront poverty in low-income countries.

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The authors develop their argument by presenting facts, views, and variables appertaining to the World Bank as well as the political influence of the international community. The World Bank is a financial institution that was established by the high-income economies globally to fund their low-income counterparts with capital and to help alleviate poverty through various projects. The World Bank has four arms:

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lends governments money.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC): It makes investments in commercial projects.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is significant in the selling of insurance policies to private investors against political risks.

The International Development Association (IDA): offers loans and grants to very low-income countries with per capita income of less than $ 1215 annually at market exchange rates.

Furthermore, the World Bank holds Trust Funds that are supported by donors for particular purposes of curbing poverty, for example, boosting access to education; fighting epidemics such as malaria and HIV/AIDS; and immunization programs. The development agenda focuses on diverse sectors of the economy, which include agriculture, health, and education. Other key areas of concern are social protection, tax policy, trade policy, property rights and conflict recovery. The expenditures of the beneficiary countries are monitored to ensure there is value for money and honesty. The aim of World Bank is to have the world that is free from the shackles of poverty. The authors validate their argument by facts for instance approximately 2.7 billion people live on below $2 per day according to the purchasing power parity exchange rates (Clemens & Kremer, 2015). Notably, this indicates the level of poverty and misery globally.

World Bank is not without political influence. The political objective was to keep the third world countries under the political control of the West and overpower USSR economically and politically. The United States (US) dictates the commercial and financial processes; also, the headquarters of World Bank is in Washington. The high-income nations that fund World Bank have different views on the expenditures in the beneficiary states. They believe that spending on development projects abroad should equal the domestic benefit. The US has put sanctions on countries such as Iran due to anti-development issues such as terrorism and manufacture of nuclear weapons. Moreover, the priorities of the developing world may differ with the expectations of the donor. For example, a country may be prioritizing on trade investment, yet the financier is insisting on primary education.

Critique of the Authors Theoretical Approach

Clemens and Kremer outline the economic and political essence of the World Bank as a global financier. However, the gains of the funders from the developing states need to be analyzed vis-a-vis the achievements of the third world. Most of the individual donors do the funding to acquire economic control over the recipient, which indirectly exerts political influence. Some aspects of neo-colonialism also emerge owing to imperialism and capitalism. In the payment of loans, some nations strain their resources hence slowing down the rate of development. Some of the prerequisite policies to funding such as the Structural Adjustment Programs are hidden issues that are unfavorable to the third world. Although some see World Bank as an entity propagating the interests of the dominant shareholders, we should view it from a perspective of a universal institution with a global representation and goals, which cannot be attained individually, and we cannot be oblivious to the fact that the members have different economic power and political influence.

The article contributes to the knowledge of theory and themes in political development mainly economy and political power. The strengths of the material include statistical data from authoritative sources to back up the facts about the World Bank; and the synthesis of the different views and variables. The authors also reference relevant texts of influential authors citing their take on the politics of World Bank. The weakness of the article is that it is not based on field research but rather on an intensive analysis of the existing secondary sources of data to establish facts about World Bank and the related political themes. The article is persuasive because it highlights the points and accommodates arguments on the subject matter, which is the World Bank. Their methodology is rich in facts and views.

Notably, there is a comprehensive review of Clemens and Kremers article, and their ideas on the World Bank are persuasively presented with adequate references. The critique of the author focuses on the political, theoretical approaches to the nature of the World Bank and the conclusions. The World Bank is a vital financial partner to the third world and a commercial tool for the high-income nations.

Literature Review for the Symposium on Democracy and Development by Pranab Bardhan

This review focuses on the article Symposium on Democracy and Development by Pranab Bardhan. The author discusses ideas of various economists on democracy and development. Bardhan presents his ideas in a manner to discredit democracy as far as development of an economy is concerned. Democracy is blamed for stunted growth and dismissed as an inadequate system of leadership for economic progress. The review comprises of the methodology of the article and a critique. Particularly, the author seeks to identify if capitalists fail to support democracy because it inhibits economic development. Similarly, the article seeks to establish if freedom unpopular because it is considered less vocal in matters of development.

The author examines various notions of democracy concerning development. Authoritarian regimes are regarded to be more productive because of their strict measures, which provide order and stability. On the contrary, democratic governments give room for laxity in economic growth due to exasperating processes and decision-making (Bardhan, 1993). Democracies call for collective actions, negotiations and unnecessary competitions, which slow down the advancement of economies. Evelyne Huber, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and John D. Stephens apply a comparative historical approach to analyzing countries in Central and South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Their findings were that capitalist development promotes democracy by changing the class structure so that the bourgeois are weakened while both the working and middle classes are enlarged such that the elites cannot eliminate them politically (Bardhan, 1993). The capitalist class has not historically supported democratic reforms. They see freedom as a license to laziness and lack of creativity. The author also argues that development projects strengthen democracy.

Critique of the authors Theoretical Approach

The general observation is that democracy is an impediment to development. The systems are slow and do not match the dynamics of economic development. Democracy cannot be blamed solely for slow development. Instead, the policies and strategies of leadership within the democracy need to be reviewed to identify points of weakness, which can be addressed and strengths, which can be harnessed for the achievement to realize economic development. India is a good example of democratic caste systems, which thrive politically. The democracy needs to make its priorities right on the design and allow the flow and sharing of resources to promote development. Projects of national benefit should be rolled out and financed adequately without delaying the processes involved. Authoritarian systems do not guarantee development. The control by a few politically elite can be disastrous if it is marred by corruption and biased sharing of resources despite the notable speed of economic processes.

The strength of the article is that it discusses reasons against freedom comprehensively with the aim to proof his thesis statement. Particularly, the author contributes to the understanding of democracy and development. Political evolution determines economic development with the democracy being unpopular for development. However, the main weakness of the article is that it does not focus enough attention on the potential of democracies that can be unleashed for development. Notably, the article is not convincing.

Democracy and development is a topic that attracts considerable attention from various sides of political divide. Most economists prefer authoritarian governments to democracies on the subject of economic development. Authoritarians advocate for capitalism and adopt stringent measures of running an economy to realize growth. Bardhan is not for democracy and focuses on the shortcomings of democracy on economic development. Democracy is bedeviled by the ideologies of pluralism and exaggerated freedom and equality debates on any matter. However, this notion can be criticized looking through the broader lens of economic policies that can be put in place in a democracy to attain similar goals as in a big setup.

Literature Review of Ethnic Exclusion and Mobilization by Gunes Murat Tezcurand Mehmet Gurses

This article focuses on the politics of ethnicity based on the social identity theory. The authors argument is that the ethnic power of a community determines its ascent to power. The majority governs the minor ethnic groups, and for them to ascend to power, they need to establish an alliance with the ruling majority group. The regime is for the tribe that is to the authority and its associates regarding policies and politics. The reference text illustrates politics of ethnicity through Turkey. The authors trace the history of the Kurds versus the ruling Turks ethnic groups. The Kurds have little say in government, and they are underrepresented. This paper reviews the methodology of the authors, and then a critique of the text is presented. Particularly, the article seeks to identify if ethnic minorities are virtually excluded from state power and have to find their way into this platform of authority at the mercies of the dominant political elites.

The authors expound on the politics of ethnicity as a common phenomenon globally since the fall of monarchies and empires. Politics took a dimension of survival for the fittest ethnically thus marginalizing the minority tribes. Politics of ethnicity are based on social identity theory. It is about whom you know and not what you know. The social identity theory explains why some ethnic groups have dominated political power for decades while others remain sidelined. The tribes, which enjoy tyranny of numbers quickly take over the political arena and establish a system that demands alliance from the small tribes to earn inclusion in the government. Ethnic bias reigns and the minorities have to abide by the terms of the majority political bosses. The opposition divide remains isolated from the national cake thus keeps mobilizing the minorities against the ruling government.

The author observes that certain traits of social identity become salient....

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Literature Review of The New Role of the World Bank by Michael A Clemens and Michael Kremer. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from

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