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Corruption, democracy and the World Bank


In this era of political conditionality and good governance, anti-corruptionhas emerged as a top priority (at least in theory) for all major donors. Thisis almost always linked to support for democratisation efforts, with onenotable exception – the World Bank. The Bank is constricted by anon-political mandate which forbids it supporting one particular politicalsystem through its lending and other activities. Nonetheless, the languageit uses (e.g., accountability, transparency, participation, etc.) and theprojects it supports seem to endorse the spirit of liberal democracy. I arguethat the Bank's mandate is in conflict with a politically sensitive issue likeanti-corruption, and that it is impossible to separate economic issues frompolitical ones in this instance; however, given the lack of consensus on therelationship between democracy, development and corruption, this may bethe best state of affairs for now.

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Marquette, H. Corruption, democracy and the World Bank. Crime, Law and Social Change 36, 395–407 (2001).

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  • International Relation
  • Economic Issue
  • Good Governance
  • Liberal Democracy
  • Sensitive Issue