Foreclosing the Future (Hardcover)
The World Bank and the Politics of Environmental Destruction
Island Press, 9781610911849, 320pp.
Publication Date: September 30, 2013
If anyone has the answer, it is arguably Bruce Rich—a lawyer and expert in public international finance who has for the last three decades studied the Bank’s institutional contortions, the real-world consequences of its lending, and the politics of the global environmental crisis. What emerges from the bureaucratic dust is a disturbing and gripping story of corruption, larger-than-life personalities, perverse incentives, and institutional amnesia. The World Bank is the Vatican of development finance, and its dysfunction plays out as a reflection of the political hypocrisies and failures of governance of its 188 member countries.
Foreclosing the Future shows how the Bank’s failure to address the challenges of the 21st Century has implications for everyone in an increasingly interdependent world. Rich depicts how the World Bank is a microcosm of global political and economic trends—powerful forces that threaten both environmental and social ruin. Rich shows how the Bank has reinforced these forces, undercutting the most idealistic attempts at alleviating poverty and sustaining the environment, and damaging the lives of millions. Readers will see global politics on an increasingly crowded planet as they never have before—and come to understand the changes necessary if the World Bank is ever to achieve its mission.
To review the references and notes with links to articles, please click on the "Resources" tab at https://islandpress.org/foreclosing-the-future.
About the Author
Rich was awarded the United Nations Global 500 Award for environmental achievement for his research and advocacy concerning international financial institutions. He worked for three decades as an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, and has testified in numerous congressional hearings on U.S. participation in international financial institution and international organizations. He has written articles and opeds for a number of publications, including The Financial Times, Open Democracy, The Nation, The Ecologist, and he is a regular columnist to The Environmental Forum, the policy journal of the Environmental Law Institute, for which he has also contributed feature cover stories. He has written an historical and philosophical work on the need for a shared environmental and social ethic for our economically globalized era, To Uphold the World: A Call for a New Global Ethic from Ancient India (Beacon Press 2010). To Uphold the World garnered high praise from the Dalai Lama and Nobel Economics Laureate Amartya Sen, who contributed an afterword and a foreword. An expanded paperback version was recently published by Penguin South Asia as Ashoka in Our Time: The Question of Dharma for a Globalized World (Penguin/Random House/Viking 2017), also available in the United States. His analysis of Ashoka also appeared in a collection of the Best Buddhist writing in America 2012.
Praise For Foreclosing the Future: The World Bank and the Politics of Environmental Destruction…
— New Republic
— Huffington Post
— Senator Tom Udall, NM, Chair, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere & Global Narcotics Affairs
— Herman Daly, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
— Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley
— Financial Times
— Forest Peoples Programme
— Poverty & Public Policy