View Comments

The Development Imperative

Toward a People-Centered Approach

Social Science Research Council | July 1, 2005

Social Science Research Council
Eric Hershberg and Christy Thornton, eds.

“The only sustainable solution for poverty eradication is employment creation, just as it is the only real foundation for decent work.” 

–Deepak Nayyar and Ha-Joon Chang

The continued, uneven process of economic globalization has exacerbated existing imbalances causing an increasing number of people, civil society groups, academics, and government officials to call for an alternative to the current development process. The G8 focus on debt relief and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty represent the most recent calls for a new process of global economic integration.

In October 2004, the International Forum for Development (IFD) convened a set of concerned academics, NGO leaders, policymakers and UN officials from around the world to fundamentally rethink development priorities and begin the process of constructing an alternative worldview that focuses on actualizing human potential and dignity. The edited volume, The Development Imperative: Toward a People-Centered Approach, highlights the conclusions from the two-day discussion and articulates a more desirable and feasible development project for the coming decade.

The book strongly critiques the orthodox viewpoint, but does not stop there. Despite the obvious negative consequences of globalization, many of the contributors argue that globalization can be an engine of growth—if countries are given the necessary policy space to pursue national development objectives. The volume moves beyond opposition to proposition as it begins to identify a coherent alternative policy framework. The authors transcend a pure focus economic growth and instead work toward integrated social and economic policies that place employment center stage. “Employment ... should be seen as an objective that has strategic importance in itself, rather than as a residual of economic growth or economic policies,” argue IFD co-chairs Ha-Joon Chang and Deepak Nayyar.

The book also addresses the impact of trade on developed and developing countries, cautioning that an equitable trade regime depends upon addressing the inequities within international trade institutions, which have been historically manipulated to benefit Northern economies. Finally, the volume refers to the human rights approach to development as another fundamental path for making progress.

The authors hope that this volume will be a useful tool for scholars, activists, and policymakers who are seeking alternatives to the current development orthodoxy.

Copies of The Development Imperative can be obtained from Global Policy Innovations and the Social Science Research Council. 

External Link:

Read More: Development, Globalization, Human Rights, Jobs, Trade, Global

blog comments powered by Disqus

Site Search

Global Research Engine

This search includes our Core Network partners.

Join Our Mailing Lists

The Journal