Publication Details

Engel, S. N. (2010). The international development institutions and regionalism: the case of South-East Asia. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 64 (1), 55-69.


Why is it that the World Bank has failed to effectively incorporate theimpact of regionalisation within its economic development strategies andpolicy advice for borrowing countries? This is an interesting puzzle given theincreasing importance that scholarly observers, policy practitioners anddevelopment agencies have attached to regionalism and regionalisation inrecent years. In the fiscal years 19952005, the World Bank provided onlyUS$1.7 billion in support for regional (or multi-country) operations acrossthe globe*/this is less than 1 percent of its project and other funding overall.In South-East Asia, while the Asian Development Bank has had aparticularly strong engagement with regionalism, the World Bank hasonly recently started to come on board with regional analysis and programs.The article proposes that the gap is due to a combination of institutional andideological factors, and explores this proposition through a study of theWorld Bank in Vietnam.



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