The Birth of a Discipline: Producing Authoritative Green Knowledge, World Bank-Style

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


After 10 long years of growing social movement pressure, the World Bank has effectively responded with a new work paradigm, ‘environmentally sustainable development’, that aggressively incorporates lessons from its worst critics (as well as some of the critics themselves). This article focuses on a case study of the World Bank's transformation-in-progress in Lao People's Democratic Republic to explicate the institutional and epistemic framework on which the Bank's new forms of intervention are based. This article argues that the World Bank successfully produces a green authoritative knowledge that contradictorily caters to the critics’ demand for democratization and the investors’ call for privatization. The article explains both the process of knowledge production and the way in which it becomes authoritative, situating newly produced forms of green knowledge and eco-rationalities within the institutional context of ‘development’ and its expanding relations of power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-217
Number of pages27
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • World Bank
  • development/underdevelopment
  • governmentality
  • knowledge/power

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Birth of a Discipline: Producing Authoritative Green Knowledge, World Bank-Style'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this