DMPQ: . What is Washington consensus? (Polity)

It was a new development strategy developed in the early 1980’s. This term was coined due to the failure of the state owned intervention , communist and socialist strategies across the world.

Governments of the socialist or the planned economies were urged/suggested to privatise and liberalise, to sell off state-owned companies and eliminate government intervention in the economy. These governments were also suggested to take the measures which could boost the aggregate demand in the economy (i.e. macroeconomic stability measures). The broad outlines of such a development strategy were called as the Washington consensus.

This consensus is broadly termed as the popular meaning of the ‘economic reform’ followed by almost all the socialist, the communist and the planned developing economies during the 1980s in one form or the other3 -the term economic reform got currency around the world during this period. The term was usually seen as a corollary of promoting ‘naked capitalism’, openness in the economy and an open attitude towards foreign investments, etc. The Governments of the developing economies were criticised by the political parties in the opposition and the critiques for being soft to the dictates of the IMF and the WB and becoming a party to promote ‘neo-imperialism’.


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