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Is the Washington consensus dead ?

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  1. The reign of the Washington Consensus.
  2. The manifestations of the post neo-liberal era.
  3. The principles of the `Post Washington Consensus` and its limitations.

Sometimes the messenger of the content assumes more significance than the content itself. One such instance is that of the Washington Consensus. According to the World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn, "The Washington Consensus has been dead for years. It has been replaced by all sorts of other consensuses. But today we are approaching our discussions with no consensuses." Wolfensohn said this at the opening of a conference on Scaling up Poverty Reduction in Shanghai on 25 May, 2004. More surprising than the content of the message is the messenger. Indeed the Washington Consensus has been the core of many debates and a controversial subject for a few years. So the fact that, once again, it has been condemned is not that surprising. Yet the fact that the President of the World Bank himself declaring the death of the Washington Consensus is much more remarkable. In fact, this is what gives value to this declaration. The implications are twofold: first, it means that he acknowledges that the Washington Consensus did exist, and more, that it is no longer significant. However, there seem to be more insights into this statement and it seems that the current situation is less obvious than James Wolfensohn presumes.

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