Growth or Solidarity? The Discourse of the SDGs

  • Tor Halvorsen
  • John HigginsEmail author
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


The overarching slogan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is ‘leave no one behind’. To realise this, a transformative shift in our global development is necessary. This means the SDGs cannot be achieved unless large parts of Africa improve the living conditions of the majority of its citizens. This improvement cannot come about through adopting the western ‘growth model’; this will only contribute to the destruction of our global environment. The discourse on the SDGs is thus about a development path that secures the livelihood of all those ‘left behind’ in Africa, at the same time as the Western ‘growth model’ is transformed. It is a question of how the few within the rich world who are consuming and polluting the most need to act in solidarity with those left behind. In this chapter, we discuss how this ambivalent discourse on growth now plays itself out within the continent and nations most deprived of the fruits of global economic growth. This is also our global challenge. Countries in Africa become the key to successful implementation of the SDGs globally through how they question the consequences of the present growth regime of the OECD world.


Growth Solidarity Social economy Development 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Bergen Global StudiesBergenNorway
  2. 2.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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