The Post-Washington Consensus and Economic Representations of Women in Development at the World Bank


Bergeron, Suzanne. 2003. ‘The Post-Washington Consensus and Economic Representations of Women in Development at the World Bank’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 5 (3): 397–419.

Author: Suzanne Bergeron


In the past few years, the neoliberal Washington consensus has given way to a ‘post-Washington consensus’ aimed at integrating social and economic dimensions of development, paying attention to broader goals such as sustainability, and challenging the old state versus market dichotomy. Among its other effects, this shift in development thinking has contributed to a greater emphasis on gender concerns in development institutions such as the World Bank. This article examines the recent innovations in economic theory that have informed these efforts. Through an analysis of the ways that these theories construct meanings about gender equity and development, the article concludes that the post-Washington consensus maintains the economistic and colonial discourses of neoliberalism, and thus provides little space for the meaningful social transformations called for by feminists working in development.

Keywords: gender and development, social capital, economic representations, World Bank

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2003

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