Saskia Hollander is executive director at The Broker. She holds a PhD in political science from Radboud University Nijmegen. She previously worked at the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV). Her professional interests include democratic institutions, the quality of democracy, political participation, and political and economic inequality.
The long wait is over. During the 13th and final session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on sustainable development goals (SDGs), held from 14 to 19 July, the 69 member countries agreed on a set of 17 SDGs and 169 associated targets. These should by no means be read as business as usual: they are more far-reaching than the MDGs both in content (they capture all three dimensions of sustainable development) and scope (they apply to both developing and developed countries). However, the proposed SDGs are by no means a clear-cut victory for the global South either, as they do not challenge the existing global power imbalances.
Can global citizenship flourish in an era of increased competition between the middle classes in the North and the South?
It is questionable whether the middle classes in Southern Africa can be perceived as drivers of economic and societal change.
The field of Development Studies needs to revitalize its identity and set clear boundaries for what it should and should not do.