From MDGs to SDGs

People’s Views on Sustainable World Development

Charles Crothers

This article overviews the institutional complexities and especially the survey component underlying the selection of key goals and suggests there be more attention and active involvement from sociologists.

National development plans have somewhat gone out of favour, but they continue at the international level. A series of development frameworks have been anchored by the UN, with the most recent being the era of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) beginning
in 2000 and finishing in 2015, and being replaced post-2015 by the Sustainable goals (SDG) framework. Perhaps it is a consequence of methodological nationalism and a deficit of methodological cosmopolitanism but these frameworks seem not to have attracted sociological attention. A search of Sociological Abstracts yielded no items in sociology journals and only a few from associated journals. Yet it is surely important for development sociologists (at least) to keep track of such large international enterprises and to use the experiences and the data generated by the programmes to develop and test theories of development, in general and particularly in relation to their own country.

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