Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 481A

Has Universal Development Come of Age?

Published on 25 September 2017

Development policy, practice and research have largely adhered to a North–South, geographic and aid-driven view of the world. Over the last ten years the approaches of South–South cooperation have also come to prominence.

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However, more attention is being paid to universal development based on the assumption that development challenges are as relevant for the North as for the South, with many common problems. Discrimination, exclusion and intolerance occur everywhere. Many people in developed and developing countries suffer from the same problems, and sharing ways of dealing with these problems is likely to improve policies.

This IDS Bulletin reviews research previously published in IDS Bulletins and other, selected research on universal development, with examples of practice, and looks ahead to suggest how ideas could be applied generally to make development studies and practice more universal.

With the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals, there is now a framework in place with which to address a universal approach to development. The universal development approach is particularly relevant against the backdrop of shared and interconnected challenges such as climate change, resource degradation, migration and trafficking, shared technology, and growing inequality.

The articles chosen for this IDS Bulletin show how South and North approaches to development can be interlinked.  They also demonstrate that this topic has been debated for many years. The selected articles cover the last 40 years and while the importance of the lessons they provide are generally relevant in the present day, obviously context has changed. Therefore, where possible, a ‘then’ and ‘now’ perspective is addressed.

Related Content

IDS Bulletin 48.1A


Richard Longhurst

Research Associate

Publication details

published by
Longhurst, Richard
Longhurst, R.
IDS Bulletin, volume 48, issue 1A


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