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Year: 2008 Type: Article Language: English

The paper seeks to intervene in debates about the role of crisis in Post Washington Consensus (PWC) policymaking. Gender and, especially, sexuality are largely absent from that debate. My paper asks: What do experiences of crisis reveal about the inter-connections between crisis, gender, and sexuality? In concrete crisis conditions, which common sense groundworks of the present (Nikolas Rose) get unsettled, which get re-entrenched, and what is the role of the development industry in this process? Using policy texts, interviews with Bank policymakers, and fieldwork on a family strengthening loan in Argentina, I argue that the denaturalization of free markets in the PWC is articulated, in part, through the re-naturalization of monogamous heterosexual couplehood. With the injuries of neoliberalism framed as injuries to loving couplehood, the Bank and its allies resolve to (re)generate intimate partnership as defining feature of the post-crisis era, raising crucial questions about the new regimes of heteronormativity under construction in contemporary development practice.