The World Bank, state reform, and the adjustment of social policies in Latin America

João Márcio Mendes Pereira About the author


This article briefly analyses the central points of the World Bank’s agenda for the reform of national states in Latin America, between 1980 and 2017. The text is based on World Bank documents and specialized literature. Initially some relevant aspects of the history of the World Bank and its configuration as a multilateral organization are presented. Next, it discusses the role of the institution in the encouragement of structural adjustment programs for the economies of the region during the 1980s, based on a hyper-market oriented agenda. Afterwards, the process of the renewal and expansion process of the Bank’s political agenda from the end of the 1990s is looked at, which was based on the maintenance of the macroeconomic adjustment, the encouragement of institutional reforms, and combatting extreme poverty. Finally, the principal lines in the Bank’s social policy reform agenda are discussed, including health.

World Bank; Structural adjustment; Social policies; Health reform; Public-Private Partnerships

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil