||This paper explores the origins and trajectory of theWashington Consensus – the ideas associated with the developing countries’ move to free markets in the 1980s and 1990s. I argue that the Consensuswas a transnational policy paradigm, shaped by both scholarly and political forces (Hall, 1993). At the core of the Consensus was the international financial institutions’ practice of conditionality – making loans to governments in exchange for policy eforms. The Consensus was ubsequentlyweakened by its own unintended onsequences, by political forces both within ashington and worldwide nd by intellectual hanges in the field of economics. However, I rgue that he Consensus has yet to encounter ny serious rivals.