GSPIA Associate Professor Dr. Paul Nelson has published Global Development and Human Rights: The Sustainable Development Goals and Beyond from University of Toronto Press. 

In the book, Paul Nelson assesses the current thirty-year effort to make transformative changes by setting global goals. From 2000 to 2015 the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) mobilized external aid to finance life-changing services in the global South but sidestepped the demands of human rights and the challenges of making poor communities more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable.

Beginning in 2016, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed to eradicate extreme poverty and to produce lasting impacts on the issues sidestepped by the MDGs. In this pragmatic analysis, Nelson argues that if the SDGs can mobilize societies to give priority to groups long excluded from economic and social gains, that would be an accomplishment worthy of the generation-long global effort. The book examines four areas where the SDGs can support systemic changes that increase poor peoples’ access to productive assets: land, labor, income inequality, and health systems. Nelson argues that transformative change comes from national and local movements and shows how initiatives and human rights can offer leverage and political support that help drive transformative national initiatives.