1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009) | Event: UNRISD Conference on Social Knowledge and International Policy Making: Exploring the Linkages


UNRISD Conference on Social Knowledge and International Policy Making: Exploring the Linkages


Knowledge and International Policy Making


by John Toye

In considering the manner in which social knowledge is used in policy making in international financial institutions, it is necessary to maintain a broad and comparative approach. It is altogether too easy to start from the conviction that certain international organisations have a negative (or positive) impact on developing countries, and then proceed to show how their use of social knowledge contributes to the type of impact that was assumed in the first place. Demonising some international organisations while idealising others is undoubtedly a very popular pastime, but it is one that generates more heat than light. This paper claims that the production of social knowledge in all international organisations is problematic, because of their nature as a form of public bureaucracy.

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