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Indeed, in many ways, the expansion of institutional analysis, which is such an essential part of SIN, and SIN’s emphasis upon participatory elements (dealt with in chapters 4, 6 and 8), can be understood in relation to efforts within neoliberalism to legitimise, embed and maintain liberal market systems. This chapter places the rise of SIN in historical and political context, providing an explanation as to why it has come about in the form that it has. Simply put, SIN is seen as a politically conditioned response generated from within the confines of neoliberalism to the significant problems in practice that the Washington consensus encountered.

5–6). Pincus and Winters identify these pressures for change as relating to competing ‘visions’ for the Bank. Four visions for the Bank are highlighted. The first is the ‘Knowledge Bank’, which they strongly associate with Stiglitz. The second vision of the Bank is the organisation as a ‘niche’ Bank (advocated by proponents on the political right to focus, selectively, upon the poorest countries). The third is a ‘left-populist’ view that argues that the Bank cannot be reformed and should be shut down.

Pincus and Winters state of Stiglitz and ‘his’ PWC that: The post-Washington consensus aggressively widens the scope for the policy intervention from economic issues to the political, social and cultural spheres while at the same time narrowing the range of acceptable leverage points needed for effective intervention. In terms of the three dimensions of reinvention, Stiglitz has provided a new conceptual framework, but has failed to link it up with a viable operational strategy. : 12–13). In this final respect, their concerns are acutely applicable also for the PWC in practice.

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