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Development as Utopia? Road to a Better Future between Fiction and Lived Utopian Practice

Title data

Daniel, Antje ; Neubert, Dieter:
Development as Utopia? Road to a Better Future between Fiction and Lived Utopian Practice.
In: Forum for Development Studies. Vol. 51 (2024) Issue 2 . - pp. 189-209.
ISSN 1891-1765

Project information

Project financing: keine

Abstract in another language

Development as presented in the MDGs/SDGs is a well-planned step-by-step enterprise. If we dig deeper into the development debate, it is clear that the dilemma of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development is still unsolved, despite all efforts. Thus, development seems to be fictional in the sense of an unreachable utopia. Against this background, it is helpful to connect the development debate with utopian studies. We learn from utopian studies that there are not only fictional utopias as a vision of a just world, which may never be realised. There are also lived utopias that unpack alternative approaches to overcoming inequality or meeting ecological challenges, and which can be realised at least within a limited space. This applies to concepts from in the Global South, such as swaraj, buen vivir and ubuntu, or ecovillages and solidarity economies that present themselves as models for alternative development. As lived utopias, they follow future practice in a defined area in which the desired future becomes part of the present. These concepts are new models in the critical development debate. They are particularly successful in communities that share a common vision and common values. At the same time, there are doubts whether these models may be realised at the national or global. With regard to the fictional character of development goals, it is obvious that we still lack a feasible global strategy with a vision for the future that is attractive enough to gain global support and that can really be accomplished.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: alternative development; development goals; SDGs/MDGs; utopian studies; lived utopias and future
Subject classification: Soziologie, Entwicklungspolitik
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Sociology of Development
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2024 09:05
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2024 07:12