Saturday, 4 December 1999

From "The Strange Case of The Washington Consensus"

By Ravi Kanbur.

[...] in the 1980s, and to a certain extent well into the 1990s, many saw the main task as being storming the citadel of statist development strategies. In this mindset, nuances were beside the point—intellectual curiosities which paled in comparison to the benefits of rapid and deep movements away from the former paradigm. And, moreover, Washington institutions were deeply suspicious of the real intentions of those they were dealing with. They suspected, perhaps rightly, that those on the other side were hell bent on preserving the status quo. In this setting, a negotiating stance, rather than a dialogue based on mutual comprehension, was appropriate. So the negotiators from Washington always took a more purist stance, a more extreme stance than even their own intellectual framework permitted [...]

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