chapter  14
15 Pages

The post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals

The persistence of development discourse

This chapter demonstrates some central discursive structures to be found in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) debate date back to the origins of development aid in the middle of the 20th century. The development discourse draws on elements familiar from the debates around global governance, sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The first obvious shift in comparison to the MDGs concerns the formation of objects. Taking the discourse of sustainability serious, the report claims to focus not any longer on those geographical units defined as less developed, but deals with aspects of the developed societies. Developed countries are called upon to provide development aid, foster new technologies, change their unsustainable consumption and production patterns, and reform the global economy. Concerning the measurement of SDG success, the report suggests that in all cases where a target applies to outcomes for individuals.