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Ikenna Acholonu, Charlotte Brown, and Ingrina Shieh

This concluding chapter brings together reflections from practitioners, thinkers, and academics. They comment on achievements and challenges for social progress in the world over the past 30 years, and outline possible futures for poverty and development. Economist and historian María del Pilar López-Uribe speaks about the experiences of South American countries. She is an authority on the long-term effects of climate change and geography on institutional drivers of economic development, and on the history of land conflicts and property rights in Colombia. Meanwhile, Leonard Wantchekon highlights the role of technology in shaping the future of development. Affan Cheema also offers a practitioner's perspective on the need to approach humanitarianism from a more holistic perspective in relation to development. The chapter then looks at how warnings of the effects of climate change have galvanized international movements calling for governments to declare a climate emergency and prioritize policies that promote sustainability and mitigate the environmental impact of the global economy. Since forming in spring of 2018, the environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion has organized protests that have reached international scale.


This chapter examines contemporary critiques of human rights, focusing on the downside of human rights claims — what is commonly understood by advocates of human rights to be the ‘misuse’ or ‘abuse’ of human rights. It first considers how human rights claims conflate ethical and legal claims because the subject of rights is not a socially constituted legal subject. It then discusses the rise of human rights as well as the relationship between human rights claims and international interventions such as humanitarianism, international law, and military intervention. In particular, it analyses the ethical, legal, and political questions raised by the Kosovo war. The chapter shows that there is a paradox at the heart of the human rights discourse, which enables claims made on behalf of victims, the marginalized, and excluded to become a mechanism for the creation of new frameworks for the exercise of power.