From Modernisation, Dependency and Soft Power Toward a Commonwealth of Learning
This article reflects on some influential theories, concepts and institutions that have shaped the nature and substance of international development since the mid-20th century. In particular, theories of modernisation and dependency are deployed to reflect on the ways in which the International Financial Institutions, such as, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have adopted a ‘Washington Consensus’ concerning the social and economic development of ‘developing’ nations. ‘Soft power’ national agencies, such as, the British Council and USAID are brought into consideration, especially, for their interests and influences over matters of learning for development. The multi-national Commonwealth of Learning’s particular contribution to learning for development is discussed with suggestions made for developing member nations’ capacities to produce new local knowledge and to bring their existing local knowledge to the fore to share as part of a (Lockean) ‘commonwealth of learning’.