Development

It would be wrong to imply that developing countries' energy policy choices are completely constrained by World Bank conditionality, or that those countries must inevitably comply with advice. As part of the recent shift away from market-based policies in various parts of the world, there has been greater resistance by a number of governments to the sorts of policies recommended, often as a result of those policies failing to deliver. Nor is the World Bank without its own internal critics: there has been some reappraisal of the 'Washington Consensus' in recent years, both in general and with regard to sectors like energy (McGowan, 1993; de Oliveira and MacKerron, 1992; Bayliss and McKinley, 2007; Besant-Jones, 2006; Dubash, 2002; Wamukonya, 2003).

Moreover some other organisations such as UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development) and the UN Development Programme have provided something of a counterweight to the economic orthodoxy (both generally and - to some extent - on energy policy matters), as well as helping to foster developing country capacity in areas such as energy finance and technology transfer. However, the contributions of such organisations are more the exception than the rule: the logic of liberalisation remains the 'conventional wisdom' among the international agencies. Thus, even if governments in some parts of the world have shifted away from a 'markets rule' stance, their changed priorities clash with the prevailing orthodoxies.

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