Article from ROAPE Volume 21 Number 62
Geopolitical Knowledge/Policy Based Lending
This article examines the inter-relations between power and knowledge in the contemporary world order. It begins by examining recent contributions to development theory especially post-modern formulations. These are seen to foster an apolitical stand on development which relativises values and hence negates the possibility of emancipatory politics. However, the technique of deconstruction is useful in revealing the geo-political basis of power structures and by doing so can help enliven progressive political debate. This article then examines how the World Bank's universalising visions of the developing world in general and Africa in particular enables the Bank to prescribe uniform adjustment programmes. As such the article reveals the links between research and policy. It ends by calling for a revitalisation of political economy which can provide a structural account of the power relations in which development discourses circulate.