In 2015 the United Nations set out an ambitious plan under UN Resolution 70/1 to prioritize seventeen separate goals over a fifteen-year period to promote health, life, equality, and the environment. The Sustainable Development Goals include ending poverty and hunger; reducing inequality; promoting good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life under water; life on land; peace, justice, and strong institutions; and developing partnerships to achieve these goals.
This book examines the way in which SDG initiatives have been disseminated by mainstream media, in government discourse and by NGO’s, charitable organisations, and campaign groups. It questions to what extent sustainability narratives are being supported and how they are represented; how saving the environment can be made pertinent to someone who has no access to clean food or running water; and why local initiatives (in which indigenous populations are making a real difference) are overshadowed by multinationals whose attempts to rectify the damage their goods have done gains more credible reportage.
Contributors: Mariana Abreau, Rhys Davies, Jenifer Ere, Shiv Ganesh, Steven Graham, Ben Harbisher, Delayney Harness, Candy Marisol Hernandez, Richard Irwin, Julius Klingelhoefer, Jason Lee, Michel Leroy, Bárbara Lima, and Stuart Price
Ben Harbisher is a senior lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester.
Introduction, Ben Harbisher
Part I: Social Theory and Politics
Chapter 1: The Social Construct of Sustainability in Media Development, Michel Leroy
Chapter 2: United Nations SDG on Gender Equality, Mariana Abreu and Bárbara Lima
Chapter 3: ‘Collateral Benefits’ and the ‘International Community’: discursive realignment after the fall of Kabul, Stuart Price
Part II: Mediation and Framing
Chapter 4: The Forgotten SDGs, Delayney Harness, Julius Klingelhoefer, and Shiv Ganesh
Chapter 5: Greenwashing Bali: How Multinationals Appropriated the UN SDG Environment Agenda, Ben Harbisher
Chapter 6: What Difference Does It Make? The importance of Documentary Film to Sustainable Development Goals in a post-truth world, Rhys Davies
Chapter Seven - Richard Irwin – Fragments of Nature
Chapter 8: Nigerian Data Policies - New Developments in State Surveillance; Jenifer Ere
Part III: Sustainability and Education
Chapter 9: Transversal Feminism, SDGs, and Digital Media Literacy in Mexico: an Oaxacan Study, Jason Lee
Chapter 10: Promoting Sustainable Development Goals to University Students in Cambodia, Steven Graham
Chapter 11: A Communication Strategy for Climate Change Solutions, Candy Marisol Hernandez
This volume makes an important contribution to a timely and long-standing issue: the promises and pitfalls of supranational attempts to tackle global vulnerabilities. Discussing the discourses surrounding these attempts and the exclusions they create, it is an essential reading for anyone interested in public policy, global inequalities, and social movements.
Ben Harbisher’s book stands out as a rich and diverse collection of critical analyses about sustainability as a political concept and the mediation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda. A valuable reading to problematise sustainability while debates shift away from dominant ideals of global progress and toward self-preservation instincts in post-pandemic societies.
Ben Harbisher’s book reveals the unsung heroes of the SDG initiatives and provides competing narratives against those promoted by the multinationals. It is a must-read book for anyone who is interested in uncovering the reality and ongoing struggles surrounding the implementation of SDGs among the stakeholders.