Debating Development

Saturday 31 October, 12.15pm until 1.15pm, Lecture Theatre 2 Lunchtime Debates

Developing countries account for four-fifths of the world’s population, but economist Paul Collier suggests ‘development has failed’ in many areas, and one billion people ‘are living and dying in fourteenth century conditions’. So what should be done? The Millennium Development Goals set ‘basic’ targets to be achieved by 2015. Even though development assistance rose to record levels in 2008, donors are falling short by $35 billion per year. But is aid the way forward? Can we avoid those least able to provide for themselves becoming aid dependent; or does that matter if the result is saving lives?

There is further controversy about the very desirability of economic growth on the traditional model. Disillusion in the crisis-ridden West has led to the exporting of doubts about growth to countries as diverse as South Africa and China. Take the impact of climate change debates in the West on attitudes to development. The Green New Deal advocates paying indigenous people not to develop in the traditional way, and to become stewards of the environment. Geoffrey Lean, the Independent’s environment editor, suggests developing countries invest in ‘preserving forests, peatlands and soils, which naturally absorb carbon dioxide, (rather) than destroying them and then developing expensive technology to do the job’.

Should the poorest nations be encouraged to adopt a Western model of development, or are there culturally and environmentally divergent paths they should take? Should these nations be ‘mentored and managed’ in the path of development, as Professor Gerard DeGroot suggests, or should they find their own way forward? Indeed, in the course of developing, is the West a hindrance or a help?

Listen to the session audio…

Other formats are available here

Speakers
Humphrey Hawksley
BBC World Affairs correspondent; author, Democracy Kills: what's so good about having the vote?

Alan Shipman
lecturer, department of economics, Open University; former editor, Finance Week; author, The Globalization Myth

Ruth Tanner
director, campaigns and policy, War on Want

Chair:
Kirk Leech
interim director, European Animal Research Campaign Centre; government affairs, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry


Produced by
Kirk Leech interim director, European Animal Research Campaign Centre; government affairs, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
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