Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Developing Partnerships

Gender, Sexuality, and the Reformed World Bank

2009
Author:

Kate Bedford

Developing Partnerships

What are the actual effects of the World Bank’s “family-strengthening” policies?

A critique of how the World Bank encourages gender norms, Developing Partnerships argues that financial institutions are key players in the global enforcement of gender and family expectations. By combining analysis of documents produced and sponsored by the World Bank with interviews of World Bank staffers and case studies, Kate Bedford presents a detailed examination of gender and sexuality in the policies of the world’s most influential development institution.

A trenchant and nuanced critique of heteronormativity within gender and development discourses in the post-Washington consensus World Bank, Kate Bedford’s Developing Partnerships has the power to set and shape agendas.

Jon Binnie, author of The Globalization of Sexuality

A nuanced critique of how the World Bank encourages gender norms through its policies, Developing Partnerships argues that financial institutions are key players in the global enforcement of gender and family expectations.

By combining analysis of documents produced and sponsored by the World Bank with interviews of World Bank staffers and case studies, Kate Bedford presents a detailed examination of gender and sexuality in the policies of the world’s largest and most influential development institution. Looking concurrently at economic and gender policy, Bedford connects reform of markets to reform of masculinities, loan agreements for export promotion to pamphlets for indigenous adolescents advising daily genital bathing, and attempts to strengthen institutions after the Washington Consensus to efforts to promote loving couplehood in response to economic crisis. In doing so, she reveals the shifting relationships between development and sexuality and the ways in which gender policy impacts debates about the future of neoliberalism.

Providing a multilayered account of how gender-aware policies are conceived and implemented by the World Bank, Developing Partnerships demonstrates as well how institutional practices shape development.

Developing Partnerships

Kate Bedford is a research fellow at the AHRC Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality at Kent Law School, the University of Kent.

Developing Partnerships

A trenchant and nuanced critique of heteronormativity within gender and development discourses in the post-Washington consensus World Bank, Kate Bedford’s Developing Partnerships has the power to set and shape agendas.

Jon Binnie, author of The Globalization of Sexuality

Developing Partnerships is brilliant. Bedford’s examination of the relationships between gender, sexuality, and neoliberal development policy adds immensely to an emerging literature that engages development discourse, feminist theory, and queer theory.

Drucilla Barker, co-author of Liberating Economics: Feminist Perspectives on Families, Work, and Globalization