Youth, and youth employment especially, have jumped to the forefront of the international development agenda, driven by new funding and reporting priorities of the World Bank and allied international and national aid organisations. Despite the seductive rhetoric of youth empowerment, however, we argue that the new turn to youth serves primarily to serve the goal of insulating the increasingly contested neoliberal project from further political and ideological challenge. Through a reading of the World Bank's World Development Report 2007, we show how the Bank deploys an old strategy of using youth as a marketing tool to promote the interests of business and political elites. Youth and business interests are framed in this and other such reports as being one and the same, setting the stage for global youth to become the Bank's latest standard bearers for its brave new market society.
- World Bank
- Youth employment