Dissertation Abstracts

World Governance and Poverty: From the Washington Consensus to the Opportunity Consensus

Author: Silva, Tatiana Mar, tatimaranhao@yahoo.com.br
Department: Sociology
University: University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Supervisor: Maria Célia Pinheiro Machado Paoli
Year of completion: 2009
Language of dissertation: Portuguese

Keywords: governance , poverty , world bank , Amartya Sen
Areas of Research: Futures Research , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change


This thesis intends to discribe a political convergence that took place during the 1990s between the World Bank and the United Nations around a new development strategy. There were two processes in operation at that moment that were key. On the one hand, critical internal reviews of the neoliberal reforms have reveberated on modulations of the World Bank's development agenda toward the new good governance agenda. On the other hand, the United Nations has defined development as the opportunity for expansion as opposed to wealth accumulation. Both of these processes converge into a new strategy that emphasized people's development instead of a nation's development, formulated in the separation between wealth production and poverty. According to this logic, poverty should be reduced, managed in acceptable grades and mobilized to give sequence to the economic liberalization's reforms. What is at stake in this convergence is the construction of new normative references that point out to convergences in the practices on the left or on the right in the international political spectrum. This research demonstrates how these new references made possible the management of poverty grades as a strategy for neoliberal improvement.