Social Networks and Institutional Change: International Economic Advising in the Colombian Political Economy, 1949–52

Saturday, January 8, 2011: 11:30 AM
Room 303 (Hynes Convention Center)
Elisa Grandi , University of Paris-Diderot, Paris VII
My analysis focuses on the World Bank’s 1949 General Survey Mission in Colombia.  This mission was the first not related to a specific project, but to the entirely of Colombian economic conditions and its recommendations shaped Colombian economic planning for the '50 and '60. It resulted from the negotiations between the vice-president of the World Bank, Robert Garner, and the Colombian World Bank Governor, Emilio Toro, and was headed by Lauchlin Currie, formerly Roosevelt’s economic adviser.
This project analyses international economic advising as an institution: considering not only its normative and organizational arrangements, but also the strategies by which the actors shaped their action. Using SNA to examine interpersonal relations as a factor that constrains and enables the actors allows us to address two important questions about how the General Survey Mission worked in the Colombian political environment:
(1) The institutional pattern of the mission, deriving not from a designed strategy, but rather on the combination of the different objectives and strategies of the actors involves
(2) The contribution of the Mission in the development of a local staff, which acquired political power and influence due to its ability to mobilize the resources provided by international aid.
I will discuss these issues using SNA software to visualize the factions and coalitions ensuing from the mission. In particular, I will demonstrate how the local staff used its relations with the international experts as a source of brokerage. I will conclude the analysis showing how the evolution of these networks shaped the future interaction between Colombians economic planners and international lending agencies.
Previous Presentation | Next Presentation >>