By Gregg Gonsalves
Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy
School--has been leading a campaign against the election of Jim Kim to the
World Bank presidency. While he
isn't the only critic of Dr. Kim's nomination, he is among the most vocal and
well-known. Though his views are his own, they have been
amplified by other leading development economists, such as William Easterly at
New York University and people associated with the Center for Global
Development in Washington, DC.
Over the past few
weeks, Pritchett has publicly questioned Kim's qualifications, saying a lack of
training in economics and experience in world finance should disqualify
him from the post. He has further suggested that Kim's nomination shows the
arrogance and hegemony of American power over the institution. He has called for Kim to step aside for a
merit-based election, in which the Nigerian candidate for the post, Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala (a World Bank, Harvard and MIT alum, also finance minister
of Nigeria) would presumably sweep to victory.
A few days ago, Pritchett
wrote an article in the New Republic (TNR)
which comes clean about the real reasons for the escalating, grasping campaign
of opposition to Jim Kim. The piece is called "Why
Obama's World Bank Pick Is Proving So Controversial." The title is an overreach: It should really read "Why Obama's World
Bank Pick Is Proving So Controversial to Me and My Friends."