POS367 – Activity Part Two
Kate Raworth gives us a new image of economics, development, and sustainability – the Doughnut. The tone of her writing appears decidedly sweet and warm, offering comfort in the renewed possibility of socially and environmentally conscious development economics. Please take the time to read the Introduction and Chapter One that I posted – I think it gives a really nice review, overview, and pivot.
The model itself seems appealing – it provides a one-stop shop for many important factors in development, taking the project of the Millennium Development Goals, moving forward with the project of the Sustainable Development Goals, and fitting them all in a simple infographic. Lets briefly consider the model.
- Go to this website (https://goodlife.leeds.ac.uk/countries/).
- You should see the option to select two countries for comparison. I’d like you to select the country that your group focused on in your group project and the United States. How does each country fair in the doughnut model in general?
- What are the social shortfalls of each country?
- What are the environmental overshoots of each country?
- How does this information inform your view of the challenges of development and/or sustainability for your selected country? What does it add to the overall picture that you developed in your group project?
Kate Raworth believes that images and ideas have a significant impact on the way human society functions, especially in the realm of economics. She even cites an influential economist Paul Samuelson who declared “‘I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws – or crafts its advanced treatises – so long as I can write its economics textbooks’” (Raworth, 18).
But are images and ideas enough? Perhaps it’s my own professional training, but in reading Raworth, I couldn’t help but ask “where is the politics in all of this?” In other words, ideas and images are good, but how do you really put them into action. Where is the power?
Toward the end of chapter one, Raworth mentions five factors that will shape whether humanity can live in the doughnut (population, distribution, aspiration, technology, and governance) or, alternatively, whether we will live with social shortfalls and environmental overshoots to the end. While these factors give a nice outline of considerations, it still seems like politics is given short shrift; the assumption being that people and government will simply coalesce around these ideas once they are propagated by the professionals. Maybe, but then again, what if not?
- What strategies or tactics do you think are required to get your chosen country to live within the doughnut?
- What are the barriers or competing interests at play, if any? Explain.
- What strategies or tactics do you think are required to get THE WORLD to live within the doughnut?
- What are the barriers or competing interests at play, if any? Can they be overcome? In other words, are we doomed?! Or is there still hope? Or neither? Explain.