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Chapter 28: Greening Development Finance: Cases from the World Bank Group
Susan Park The World Bank Group (WBG) is a constellation of international organizations (IOs) with global reach. The group includes the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Center for the Settlement of Disputes (ICSID), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).1 The World Bank here refers to the IBRD and the IDA. The World Bank wields significant material and ideational power over a large portion of the globe through its financing policies in developing countries. Traditionally, the World Bank has offered cheap loans to developing countries where private financing was unavailable, and has mobilized and co-financed loans and projects with the private sector, to provide a life line to credit-poor states. From the 1980s, the WBG has advocated neoliberal economic policies, often described as the “Washington Consensus.”2 Critics challenge the perceived omnipotence of the World Bank in spreading globalization and determining development agendas.3 Since the early 1980s, environmental groups have documented numerous cases in which World Bank projects have contributed to environmental devastation and community dislocation. More recently, the Bank’s incorporation of environmental and social issues has sparked debates over whether it promotes a “Post-Washington Consensus” development agenda, liberal environmentalism,4 or even “Green Neoliberalism.”5 This chapter provides an account of the impact of the “greening” process on the World Bank and two of its lesser-known affiliates: the IFC, a private sector lender and investor, and the MIGA, a political risk insurer. Transnational environmental...
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