The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 911–925 | Cite as

Global Law and Sustainable Development: Change and the “Developing–Developed Country” Terminology



Change has played and continues to play a crucial role in life as in law. In the context of the search for a future system of global governance, law expresses change also through the concept of development or a debate known as “law and development”. This debate is characterized by the notion of a “developing country” and its frequent opposition with what is commonly called a “developed country”. Their opposition, as the terminology in general, appears not only inadequate to tackle the global governance challenges of the 21st century but also flawed both in philosophical and conceptual terms. This article, therefore, enquires into the causes for the terminology to be inadequate and advocates instead the use of the more dynamic and inclusive term of “development policy”, which seems more adequate for the objective of establishing a consistent body of global law supportive of the principles of sustainable development.


global governance constant change global law sustainable development essentially oxymoronic concepts developed countries developing countries 

Le changement continue à jouer un rôle central soit dans la vie que dans le droit. Dans le contexte de la recherche d’un système de gouvernance globale, le droit exprime le concept de changement, entre autres, à travers le concept de développent, ou du débat connu comme « le droit et le développement » . Ce débat est caractérisé par la juxtaposition fréquente de la notion de « pays en voie de développement » et « pays développé » . Cette opposition, et plus généralement la terminologie utilisé, n’est pas seulement inadéquate pour s’attaquer aux défis de gouvernance au 21eme siècle, mais contient aussi plusieurs lacunes philosophiques et conceptuelles. Cet article s’informe sur le pourquoi de cette terminologie inadéquate, et plaide plutôt pour l’utilisation du terme « politique de développement », qui est bien plus dynamique et inclusif, et qui est plus adéquat afin d’établir un corpus cohérent de droit globale qui soutient les principes du développement durable.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law (FLL)University of MacauMacauChina

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