Development, Social Justice and the Limits of Public Policy

  • Shahid Ahmed


Pakistan’s development experience of recent years can be best understood by briefly retracing events that followed in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. In 1945, as the war ended, large parts of Europe lay in ruins, the task ahead was primarily one of reconstruction. However, the idea of development was already in the minds of the political leaders, civil servants and academics who began sketching out the post-war settlement at Bretton Woods in 1944. Hence the name International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD or the World Bank) was chosen for the institution that would seek to embody the collective will of the then global community. Its aim would be to benefit not only those areas of the world that had been devastated by the conflict but also those that had been characterized by their chronic backwardness. The idea of a global compact in which rich countries helped the poor in their quest for development was thus born, formalized with the creation of a series of regional economic commissions and extended through the 1960s with the United Nations Decade of Development that also made it morally incumbent on the rich countries to provide the equivalent of 0.7 per cent of their GDPs to the poor countries as Official Development Assistance (ODA).


Public Good Social Justice Social Contract Social Indicator Ruling Elite 
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Copyright information

© Shahid Ahmed 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahid Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificBangkokThailand

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