Presented by Dr Heloise Weber, School of Political Science and International Studies, UQ

Please note: Date has changed to 22 May (originally scheduled for 15 May). 

The SDGs have set out a comprehensive agenda for global development with 17 goals and 169 associated targets to be achieved by 2030. The approach has been presented as a unique framework to achieve sustainable global development, and to end poverty in its multiple forms. Dr Weber reconstructs key themes and premises of the SDGs, foregrounding its social and political significance, and connects this reconstruction with what critics of the scheme have highlighted. Dr Weber then adds to the latter by providing a close analysis of the framework as a whole. Her research demonstrates that it represents a deeply controversial political agenda, one that can be apprehended not least through the scheme's conception of sustainability, both in ecological and social terms. Dr Weber provides evidence that the SDG agenda is grounded in a distinctively neoliberal conception of development. It couples this with radical prescriptions for those subjected to impoverishment and deprived of fundamental entitlements to live in dignity. By drawing on the account of a normative theorization of poverty provided by Forst (2005), she argues that the SDG agenda does not address poverty as deprivation, which is a fundamental injustice.

About Futures of International Order | Seminar Series

There is a widespread fear that the modern, ‘liberal’, international order is in crisis. Faced with multiple global challenges, from climate change and economic governance to nuclear arms control and global people movements, existing institutions increasingly appear outmoded, inefficient, and at times, dysfunctional. Meanwhile, existing institutional arrangements are being challenged by a diverse array of actors, from great powers (such as Russia) and transnational insurgents to right-wing nationalists. This university-wide seminar series is designed to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on the possible futures of the modern international order. What challenges does it face, how will it evolve in the face of such challenges, what futures are desirable if it is to meet human and planetary needs?

Scholars are wrestling with these issues in a wide range of disciplines, from climate science and economics to history, philosophy, law, and political science. We have invited scholars from all fields currently working on issues relating to ‘futures of international order’ to present in this new seminar series. 

The Convenors of the program are Associate Professor Jacinta O’Hagan, Associate Professor Sarah Percy & Professor Chris Reus-Smit.

The seminars are run every fortnight through Semester 2 in 2019.

Seminars will be held at POLSIS:  Level 5 General Purpose North (39A) The University of Queensland St Lucia, QLD 4072 | Room 501