Although the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank are often (rightly) associated with the diffusion of ideas and practices underpinning neo-liberal globalization, a closer examination of their policy discourses over the last decade suggests that they have clearly gone beyond the brute neo-liberal prescription of welfare cuts and structural adjustment. This shift is particularly evident in their advocacy of public investment in childcare/child development programs, as 'investing in children' has come to be seen as a critical component of the paradigm. Different versions of this discourse, however, reflect a greater or lesser break from neo-liberal canons. This article explores such differences as they appear in the way the OECD and the World Bank have framed the need for early childhood education and care/development (ECEC).

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Global Social Policy
School of Public Policy and Administration

Mahon, R. (2010). After neo-liberalism?: The OECD, the world bank and the child. Global Social Policy, 10(2), 172–192. doi:10.1177/1468018110366615