Question: World Bank Policies

What are Current policies of the World Bank? Also what is United States policies regarding the World Bank?


Hi. In response to your question to Radical Reference about the World Bank, I can give you some resources to get you started with those questions.

The Wikipedia online encyclopedia has a pretty good overview of the World Bank:

The World Bank's own home page is worth a look also:

The World Bank was started after World War II by the United States and the other Allies to reconstruct Europe and Japan, and to to 'develop' the third world. The World Bank (along with a related organization started at the same time the International Monetary Fund) are essentially meant to stabilize and manage the world economy.

The United States government has always appointed the president of the World Bank. And decision making power at the world bank is based on how much money a country gives to the World Bank, so the United States has a lot of control over it. The United States government is generally in control of the policies of the World Bank. Currently there is some controversy about the recent United States appointee to the position, Paul Wolfowitz.

Here's one article which addresses that controversy, and also talks about the UN. It's from Radio Free Europe which is wholly funded by the U.S. government, but it's a pretty decent article:

The World Bank lends money to third world countries for large public works projects and other development projects. There are many critics of the World Bank's policies and programs. People, especially in the third world, have criticized the projects they fund, the harsh requirements of the structural adjustment programs typically required by the Bank, the expensive debt that third world countries are saddled with from World Bank loans, and the decision making structure of the Bank which gives richer countries control. Some of the well-known organizations in the US which are opposed to the Bank are Global Exchange and 50 Years is Enough. Here are some pages from those and another organization that show some of the critiques:

I hope that helps get you started with your research. There are databases of articles from academic journals and newspapers that might be helpful in finding more specific information. Your public or school library probably has some such databases and the librarian there can help you use them; or a Radical Reference volunteer could search them for you. If you have any more questions, or you need more specific information on some aspect of the World Bank or the United States' relationship to it, please feel free to ask us a followup question. If you let us know a little bit more about what you're working on or why you're interested in the topic, it might help us find more specifically helpful stuff.