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Type: Journal article
Title: Sustainable development and Agenda 21: the secular bible of global free markets and pluralist democracy
Author: Doyle, T.
Citation: Third World Quarterly, 1998; 19(4):771-786
Publisher: Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 0143-6597
Statement of
Timothy Doyle
Abstract: This paper provides a critique of sustainable development and Agenda 21 from a variety of standpoints. Agenda 21-forged in the Rio de Janiero 'Earth Summit' in 1992-was shaped largely by Northern elites (governments in close association with large transnational corporations). Much of the environmental movement was co-opted into this process and remains profoundly weakened by its continued involvement. Agenda 21 sells a vision of global ecology which defines the major problems of the Earth in Northern elite and scientific terms (global warming, population growth, species extinction) while largely ignoring the key environmental issues as defined by the majority of the people, both in the North and the South.1 Agenda 21 has also been successful in selling a concept of sustainable development which continues to promote the Enlightenment goals of progress through economic growth and industrialisation at all costs. But it is worse than this: it also advances the globalisation of radical libertarian market systems, along with US style 'apolitical' pluralist systems of democracy. The paper concludes with the point that both sustainable development and Agenda 21 need to be rejected out of hand by environmentalists.
Rights: © 1998 Third World Quarterly
RMID: 0030002519
DOI: 10.1080/01436599814235
Appears in Collections:Australian Population and Migration Research Centre publications

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