Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

For example for those nations that the world bank

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Unformatted text preview: 86 Critics call this the “myth of development.”87 In addition, a growing literature denounces the negative effects of bilateral and multilateral development projects on the environment88 and the negative effects of aid-produced debt on the environment.89 For example, development assistance to increase the carrying capacity in Kenya backfired; the assistance actually reduced the capacity of range lands to support people, thus intensifying famines.90 By admission of the World Bank’s own Director of the Environmental Department, the Bank notes that the effect of its policy changes toward the environment “has been less than was hoped for at the time of Rio, and the achievements of various programs have been mixed.”91 A radical critique of these managerial sustainable development strategies examines the degree to which the mechanisms of development agents reproduces global inequality. Radicals argue that the debt relationship between the THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 243 MDCs and the LDCs is a source of continued inequality and domination of the LDCs by the MDCs. The debt of the South has increased dramatically since the 1980s. For example, for those nations that the World Bank categorizes as “low income,” in 1980s their total debt was US$102 billion; in 1997 the debt increased to US$387 billion. The debt of “middle income” nations increased over the same period from US$580 billion to over US$2 trillion92 (Figure 7.4). Since the 1980s, the amount that the developing countries paid back on their loans exceeded the amount they received in loans, thus resulting in a net gain for the MDCs. The debt is so high in some nations that countries cannot even pay off the interest amounts, let alone the principal. In addition to the problem of paying back loans, critics point out that the projects that the loans are intended for are ill-conceived ones that produce environmental problems rather than improving the quality of the environment. A number of critics point out the devastating environme...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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