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Global sustainability: the sequel


  • Robin Davies

    () (Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)


The Global Sustainability Panel (GSP), formed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2010, was asked to think big – to come up with a 'new development paradigm' and mechanisms for putting it into practice. Its product was, among other things, meant to help frame the forthcoming third global conference on environment and development, Rio 20. The imposing precedent for this was Our Common Future, the 1987 report of Gro Harlem Brundtland’s World Commission on Environment and Development. The GSP report, Resilient People, Resilient Planet, inevitably borrows much its content from Brundtland but also exhibits interesting differences. This paper is a selective reflection on what the GSP report adds to, and subtracts from, Brundtland’s bedrock. The comparison is anchored in a discussion of two specific themes: international cooperation and resilience. The first is prominent in Brundtland and largely absent in the GSP report; the second, vice versa. I suggest that much of what is puzzling or unsatisfactory in the GSP report flows from a systematic blindness with respect to the need for policy cooperation between states, and with respect to the uses of the concept of resilience.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Davies, 2012. "Global sustainability: the sequel," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1219, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:devpol:1219

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    2. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
    3. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    4. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haddad, Lawrence, 2013. "How should nutrition be positioned in the post-2015 agenda?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 341-352.

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    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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