Achieving Broad-Based Sustainable Development: Governance, Environment, and Growth with Equity

Achieving Broad-Based Sustainable Development: Governance, Environment, and Growth with Equity

Achieving Broad-Based Sustainable Development: Governance, Environment, and Growth with Equity

Achieving Broad-Based Sustainable Development: Governance, Environment, and Growth with Equity

Synopsis

• Lays out successes and failures of past development strategies
• Constructs a new strategy to merge the strengths of market capitalism with necessary government interventions

This popular textbook presents a holistic approach to achieving more equitable and sustainable development policies that surpass the narrow goal of economic growth. The authors clarify the goals of twentieth century development efforts and propose new ways to incorporate social, cultural, environmental, and political strategies in the formation of truly sustainable development.

Excerpt

Why did we write this book, and why should you read it? One reason is to convince you that the goal of broad-based sustainable development (BBSD), which is equitable, participatory, and environmentally sustainable, must replace the narrower goal of economic growth, which has been pursued by rich and poor countries alike since World War ii. Growth is indeed a part of bbsd, but it must be a special kind of growth.

Unfortunately, most Americans, as well as most other people in the world, are still convinced that economic growth itself will solve many of our problems. But this emphasis on development, narrowly defined as economic growth, has produced pernicious results, despite its many successes. Economic development often ignores people. This was wonderfully expressed by a president of Brazil, who said in the 1970s that the Brazilian economy was doing fine, but the people weren't faring so well. This was not unique to Brazil. It is not true, as President Kennedy said in the 1960s, that "a rising tide lifts all boats." As efficient as the market economy is in generating growth, it leaves many people out. It is necessary to undertake specific policies to change this.

Government policies are also necessary to protect inalienable rights, to promote good governance and democracy, to provide opportunities for all people to participate, and to protect the environment. When these things don't happen, bbsd does not occur. All too often, governments pursue economic policies that benefit those in government at the expense of the people, as in the Philippines, Zaire, and Brazil. Such policies not only concentrate the benefits of growth in a few hands but in many cases actually retard overall economic growth. Other governments, such as those in China, Indonesia, Korea, and Taiwan, that are committed to economic growth have run roughshod over human rights and excluded people from participating in decision making, all in the name of economic growth. All countries, including the United States, have acted as if there were no ecological limits to growth.

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