From the Politics of Development to the Challenges of Globalization
ByJennifer Bair
Pages 13

How did we get here? This is the question that contributors to this volume are grappling with, as we seek to understand and explain the dramatic transformation in development theory and praxis that occurred during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Many scholars have analyzed the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as key institutions disseminating the current orthodoxy, but this essay focuses on what might be considered the forgotten Bretton Woods institution: the United Nations. While the United Nations has been effectively sidelined by its Washington-based brethren, I examine a period in which the UN was a vibrant site for the construction and contestation of development discourse, and one in which the countries of the global South, then aligned as the Group of 77 in their quest for a ‘New International Economic Order’ (NIEO), sought to shape the agenda.