Reproducing inequalities through development: the MDGs and the politics of method

Weber, Heloise (2015) Reproducing inequalities through development: the MDGs and the politics of method. Globalizations, 12 4: 660-676. doi:10.1080/14747731.2015.1039250

Author Weber, Heloise
Title Reproducing inequalities through development: the MDGs and the politics of method
Journal name Globalizations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1474-774X
Publication date 2015-07-04
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14747731.2015.1039250
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 12
Issue 4
Start page 660
End page 676
Total pages 17
Place of publication Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract This article is a critical inquiry into particular methodological means underlying analyses of development, inequalities, and poverty in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) discourse. A populist approach to poverty reduction, the MDG initiative has gained much exposure at the expense of a closer scrutiny of the specific methodological premises (and their implications) underlining the development frameworks through which the goals were to be realized. A critical examination of premises of this kind demonstrates the way in which the application of specific methods in analyses of development and poverty is carefully crafted to serve discernible ideological ends. In order to explicate this by way of an example, I draw on MDG1 (and target 2 with reference to hunger), which I discuss in relation to its integration with the overarching development objective of realizing economic growth. My aim is to demonstrate how dominant explanations and understandings of poverty and hunger, social struggles for fundamental entitlements, and ultimately ‘development’, are construed in ways that are premised on abstractions from actual social and political relations; they are framed as ‘independent variables’ external to the very policies and strategies of international development. The critical engagement offered in my analysis is timely, given the extent to which the MDG initiative and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda have been presented without any attempt to answer to decades (and more) of critical arguments that offer more rigorous and sustained understandings of inequalities, including deprivations of basic life sustaining needs and fundamental entitlements.
Keyword Global development
Millennium development goals (MDGs)
Politics of method
Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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