Why is it that the World Bank has failed to effectively incorporate the
impact of regionalisation within its economic development strategies and
policy advice for borrowing countries? This is an interesting puzzle given the
increasing importance that scholarly observers, policy practitioners and
development agencies have attached to regionalism and regionalisation in
recent years. In the fiscal years 19952005, the World Bank provided only
US$1.7 billion in support for regional (or multi-country) operations across
the globe*/this is less than 1 percent of its project and other funding overall.
In South-East Asia, while the Asian Development Bank has had a
particularly strong engagement with regionalism, the World Bank has
only recently started to come on board with regional analysis and programs.
The article proposes that the gap is due to a combination of institutional and
ideological factors, and explores this proposition through a study of the
World Bank in Vietnam.