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Accountability PoliticsPower and Voice in Rural Mexico$
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Jonathan A. Fox

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208852.001.0001

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Contrasting Theory and Practice: The World Bank and Social Capital in Rural Mexico

Contrasting Theory and Practice: The World Bank and Social Capital in Rural Mexico

(p.138) 6 Contrasting Theory and Practice: The World Bank and Social Capital in Rural Mexico
Accountability Politics

Jonathan Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the emphasis on cross-regional comparison, addressing the role of both transnational and national actors by focusing on World Bank-funded rural development projects. The question is to what degree the World Bank's ostensibly new-style projects actually contributed to the ‘enabling environment’ that allow poor people to consolidate representative organizations. The term ‘enabling environments’ refers to the institutional context that either facilitates or blocks the collective action that is critical to providing leverage and voice to under-represented people. The study documents whether or not enabling environments were in fact created by assessing the degree to which the projects complied with the World Bank's own policy reforms involving public information disclosure and informed participation by indigenous peoples. The study documents outcomes, both across projects and across regions within projects. With few exceptions, the projects did not significantly improve the enabling policy environment for the organizations of the rural poor.

Keywords:   World Bank, social capital, enabling environments, informed participation, sustainable development, agriculture, rural financial markets, aquaculture, community forestry, political capital

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