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New Book: Reclaiming Development Agendas: Knowledge, Power and International Policy Making

10 Aug 2006

As international development organizations prioritize “poverty reduction”, position themselves as “knowledge agencies”, and talk of “good governance” and “empowerment”, will these approaches really result in patterns of development that are more socially inclusive and equitable?

Reclaiming Development Agendas looks at why changes in discourse and policy are taking place, as well as the potential and limits of what has been called “the new development agenda”. The contributors include leading thinkers on development issues, several of whom have played a prominent role in international organizations and social movements. They analyse the interrelationships among knowledge, power and policy making, and the contribution of recent policy and institutional reforms, by focusing, in particular, on the World Bank and the United Nations, as well as specific themes including poverty reduction strategies, gender equality, education policy, global social policy, and institutional innovations associated with “knowledge agencies”. What emerges is a powerful critique of contemporary “development-speak” and policy, as well as important insights into alternative strategies.

Foreword: Some Reflections on the Links between Social Knowledge and Policy, J.A. Ocampo
Introduction: Reclaiming Development Agendas, P. Utting
Challenging the Knowledge Business, S. Guttal
The New Buzzwords, A. Cornwall and K. Brock
The Search for Policy Autonomy in the Global South, N. Girvan
The World Bank as a Knowledge Agency, J. Toye and R. Toye
Knowledge Management and the Global Agenda for Education, K. King
The Quest for Gender Equality, G. Sen
Global Social Policy Reform, B. Deacon
Generating Knowledge in the United Nations, L. Emmerij, R. Jolly and T.G. Weiss

Peter Utting is Deputy Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), where he co-ordinates international research projects under the programme area, Markets, Business and Regulation.

Reclaiming Development Agendas is copublished with Palgrave Macmillan; hardback, ISBN 1-4039-9494-3, 272 pages, 2005, £45.

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