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CITIES. 1995 Dec; 12(6):401-3.Cedric Pugh has posited that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the UN Development Program, and the UN Center for Human Settlements have adopted more flexible and realistic policies related to developing countries in which they give greater attention to social programs, and emphasize public-private partnerships and the creation of an enabling environment rather than direct state involvement. The author agrees with Pugh. The institutions' new approach does not mean, however, that current agendas or policies are the best of all possible options and that all dissension between the institutions and borrower countries has been eliminated. The author finds Pugh's paper to be remarkably lacking of any critical perspective upon the international agencies in terms of the vast power they have over the policies and practices of debtor and borrower countries. Specific urban reform programs are having positive impacts in some areas, but relations are not ideal between the agencies and national governments. Furthermore, the author urges caution with regard to the potential applicability of public-private partnerships. He was also hoping for a more critical evaluation of the New Political Economy (NPE) rather than the advocacy offered by Pugh. The author has some concerns about the nature of the NPE and its theoretical underpinnings and notes that the most conspicuous omission from Pugh's paper is any reference to Harris's 1992 book, the most detailed and sustained published discussion available on the new World Bank and UNDP urban policy agendas for the 1990s.
CITIES. 1995 Dec; 12(6):381-98.Cedric Pugh argues that past efforts to tackle rapid urbanization and its related problems and constraints have been inadequate, and that the rate and scale of likely urbanization over the next couple of decades pose challenges which require very different and innovative approaches. The bulk of his paper describes the evolution of policy over the past 30 years within the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the UN Development Program, and the UN Center for Human Settlements, the leading international lending and development agencies concerned with Third World economic and urban policy issues. Pugh argues that these institutions have learned much from their own experience and that far more flexible and realistic policy changes have been adopted since the late 1980s. They move away from orthodox neoliberalism and give greater attention to social programs, and emphasize public-private partnerships and the creation of an enabling environment rather than direct state involvement. Pugh criticizes a considerable number of academic writers for being unduly ideologically driven in advocating statism along socialist lines or a quasi-Western welfare state. He declares himself an advocate of the New Political Economy, discusses this school of thought, and considers experiences in the Asian NICs, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.