Goodbye to Universal Development and Call for Diversified, Democratic Sufficiency and Frugality: The Need to Re-conceptualising Development and Revitalising Development Studies

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    Abstract

    There’s need for a new development concept that allows for the expected global population of 9 to 10 billion by 2050 to live within the ecological finite world. Since the concept of development became the Western countries’ mantra of human progress and modernisation, promising the undeveloped Third World countries materialistic welfare similarly to the developed countries, the poorest countries keep falling further behind in poverty. Rapidly growing emerging economies, however, that all together contain more than half of the world population, now adds up to existing mass consumerism and demand changing the established North-South hegemonic world order based in the linear concept of development. This creates two new scenarios. One is the rapidly growing challenges to the global ecosystems, including greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere that with the expected global population by the middle of this Century ‘probably will exceed all possible measures of available resources and assessments of limits to the capacity to absorb impacts’ (UNEP 2011). The second scenario is the changing world order promoted by the rapid economic growth of new emerging economies. Democratically sharing future room for development within a finite ecological planet calls for radical new thinking about development in terms of sufficiency, frugality and sustainability. The interdisciplinary approach of development studies can play a pertinent role in the necessary redefinition of development in rich and poor countries. This, however, implies that the economics of the re-conceptualized development takes its point of departure in the realities of an ecological finite world.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalForum for Development Studies
    Volume39
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)301-317
    Number of pages18
    ISSN0803-9410
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2012

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