‘Business, as usual: the policy priorities of the World Bank's discourses on youth unemployment, and the global financial crisis'

Fergusson, Ross and Yeates, Nicola (2013). ‘Business, as usual: the policy priorities of the World Bank's discourses on youth unemployment, and the global financial crisis'. Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 29(1) pp. 64–78.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21699763.2013.803998

Abstract

International governmental organisations (IGO) are an active presence in youth unemployment policy. This article undertakes a detailed analysis of the formative role of one IGO - the World Bank (WB) – in the framing of policy in this issue area. It charts the WB’s emergence as a powerful political actor in this policy field and identifies the ideational content of its discourses. Four principal themes are identified: skills deficits; the effects of employment regulation and social protection on youth labour markets; the ‘demographication’ of explanations for burgeoning youth unemployment; and connections between youth unemployment, criminal activity and social disorder. The discussion highlights significant evidence of neo-liberal continuity and reinvention in WB discourses as its normative and ideational frameworks are extended to new terrains of analysis in ways that infer direct links between youth unemployment, social protection and social cohesion

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