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ERIC Number: EJ837408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Re-Branding Neoliberalism and Systemic Dilemmas in Social Development: The Case of Education and School Fees in Latin American HIPCs
Davidson-Harden, Adam
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v6 n1 May 2008
Using Latin America as a broad context and drawing on evidence from some of its most heavily indebted states as cases, this paper considers the example of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and education as a means of exploring the question of whether poverty reduction strategies of the Bretton Woods Institutions (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, herein referred to as BWIs) merely "re-brand" damaging structural conditionality principles inherent in neoliberal development paradigms. Employing an analytical perspective that seeks to unpack the political economy of these trends, the author offers an argument that is predicated both on a conception of hegemony adapted from Gramsci (1971), as well as an understanding of the dynamic of neoliberalism as an imperialistic and "colonizing" set of policy discourses and practices, or a "material-discursive dialectic" between the hegemony of neoliberal policy discourses and their attendant impacts when realized in various policy practices in education (Davidson-Harden, 2005). In addition to the argument that PRSPs comprise a "re-branding of neoliberalism", this paper offers the additional contention that the mechanism of the PRSP has been a significant instrument for the co-optation and accommodation of erstwhile critics within the process of "owning" country-based consultations on poverty reduction, which embody a process of further entrenching a core set of neoliberal macroeconomic conditions that northern banks require to facilitate capitalist accumulation for the few, under the guise of seeking that panacea, economic growth along with its elusive promise of "poverty reduction." The author also argues that until neoliberalism's core conditions and normative preference for "marketized" modes of development are effectively challenged and alternatives are acknowledged, progress toward the achievement of basic goals of equity of access to education and other forms of social rights will continue to be frustrated in the Latin America's most vulnerable states, and beyond. (Contains 3 figures and 6 notes. Contains a bibliography.)
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A