Global Economy

With the increasing importance of ‘emerging powers’ in the global economy, questions are raised about the role of developing countries in shaping global norms. The assumption in much of the literature has been to see global norms as originating in the ‘North’ (or the ‘West’). Recent research has begun to challenge this view. This paper contributes to this debate in studying the agency of the South in the adoption of sustainable development as the consensus framework for international development (SDGs).
The number of countries with a national development plan has more than doubled, from about 62 in 2006 to 134 in 2018. More than 80 per cent of the global population now lives in a country with a national development plan of one form or another. This is a stunning recovery of a practice that had been discredited in the 1980s and 1990s as a relic of directed economies and state-led development. Several factors have fostered this re-emergence but from about 2015 the momentum for producing plans has accelerated, driven in part by a need to plan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).