Sustainable development became the dominant discourse in global environmental affairs in the 1980s, spurred by the landmark Brundtland report to the United Nations, and remains widely popular, embodied for example in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by an assembly of all the world’s countries in 2015. Sustainable development combines ecological protection, economic growth, social justice, and intergenerational equity, which can be sought globally and in perpetuity. “Green growth” becomes possible, while ecological limits and boundaries fade into the background. However, it is necessary for a collective effort that involves governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, and citizens to make this happen. Sustainable development is an integrating discourse that covers local and global environmental issues and a host of economic and development concerns. Beyond this shared discourse, different actors (such as corporations and environmentalists) ascribe different means to the idea. Despite its popularity as a discourse, sustainable development has not actually been achieved anywhere.
This chapter discusses the importance of politics to the relationship between human rights and development. It describes the two major ways in which human rights struggles have focused on development processes in the last two decades: the right to development, the struggles of poor countries for a better deal in the global economic system; and the human rights-based approach to development, the struggles of poor people for development to realize their rights. The chapter first considers the links between human rights, politics, and development before analysing the concepts and debates surrounding the right to development and the human rights-based approach to development. It then presents a case study on the Millennium Development Goals and the successor, Sustainable Development Goals, to illustrate how human rights principles are raised in contemporary debates on development priorities.
Edited by Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall, and Lise Rakner
Politics in the Developing World provides an introduction to politics in the developing world. This fifth edition has been updated to address topical issues and themes, including refugee movements; the rise of the so-called Islamic State; organized crime; gender; the role of new forms of communication in political mobilization; and the replacement of Millennium Development Goals by Sustainable Development Goals. The first four sections of the volume explore the theoretical approaches, the changing nature and role of the state, and the major policy issues that confront all developing countries. The final sections set out a diverse range of country case studies, representing all the main geographical regions.
Alan Thomas and Tim Allen
This chapter discusses some of the ways in which the two concepts of poverty and development are related by considering a number of dimensions in which they appear to be opposed. It looks at the 'era of development', describing how the emphasis has shifted from theoretical debate between alternative models of development to acceptance of globalized liberal capitalism. The fusion of liberal democracy and industrial capitalism came to represent the only viable basis for modern human society — an approach that was commonly linked to the concept of globalization. The chapter then assesses the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how they have been succeeded by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both of which frameworks exemplify development seen in terms of policy interventions to ameliorate poverty and other global problems — including climate change. Finally, it identifies some major dilemmas for development as the twenty-first century progresses.