Book review of ‘Governing Through Goals’

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The latest issue of Transnational Environmental Law (Volume 6 – Issue 3 – November 2017) features a new article by Dario Piselli and Riccardo Pavoni, Programme Manager and Academic Coordinator of the the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development, respectively.

The article reviews ‘Governing Through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation‘, a compelling volume edited by Norichika Kanie (Senior Research Fellow at UNU-IAS) and Frank Biermann (Professor of Global Sustainability Governance at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development) which analyses the challenges and opportunities of goal-setting as a governance strategy in the light of the adoption, in September 2015, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Governing through Goals constitutes a compelling contribution to the academic study of the SDGs as a governance strategy and represents a timely reminder that the hard part of the game begins now. Two years after the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the pace of implementation of the SDGs is still insufficient to deliver on the promise of transformative change that surrounded their adoption.

More importantly, there are two inherent risks in wrongly assuming that goal setting alone will move the world towards sustainable development. One such risk is arguably the central concern of this book: that enthusiasm towards goal setting does not appear to be matched by a parallel political will to move away from ‘governance-as-usual’ and devise innovative arrangements to help in managing global public goods in the Anthropocene. The other is the risk of an inadequate level of country ownership of the SDGs, leading to developments at the national level that simply realign existing policies with the SDG framework or fail to effectively integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development.”

The book, published by MIT Press, is available here.
You can read the review here.

Publication of ASviS Report 2017

On September 28th, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) launched its 2017 Report on “Italy and the Sustainable Development Goals” during a meeting at the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

img_rapporto_asvis2017The Report has three main components. First, it presents an assessment of Italy’s progress in the implementation of the SDGs. Second, it details a list of concrete proposals for the Italian government to consider in the next budget law and in subsequent policy developments. Finally, it proposes an innovative analytical model to forecast possible pathways for sustainable development in Italy based on a series of different policy scenarios to 2030.

With respect to the role of the EU, the 2017 Report argues that after its decisive contribution to the negotiation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the European Union has not moved fast enough to enshrine the SDGs in its own analytical and political processes. ASViS emphasizes that the implementation of the Agenda represents a major opportunity for anchoring the European vision to the challenges of the 21st century, and should be at the center of both the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the political debate around the 2019 European Parliament’s elections. From this perspective, the Parliament and Council’s responses to the European Commission’s Communication on a new European Action for Sustainability signal the need for a change of pace, and accordingly invite the Commission itself to develop a coherent strategy, a clear timeline and a global gap analysis that can support bolder ambitions towards the achievement of the Goals.

During the event, ASviS (a network of over 170 institutions and civil society organizations working to promote the implementation of the SDGs in Italy) also presented the new ASviS open-access database, which includes information on more than 170 SDG indicators and allows for easy data visualization and comparison across different time spans and spatial scales.

Download the Report (Pdf)
Synthesis
Executive Summary (Italiano)
Executive Summary (English)
Learn more about the ASviS Database
Learn more about the SDG Indicators

 

EULawSD Module selected for co-funding by EACEA

File picture shows European Union flags fluttering outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels
Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Files

On 26 July 2017, the Education, Audiovisuals and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission announced the results of its annual call for co-funding of Jean Monnet Activities under the Erasmus+ Programme (Call EAC/A03/2016).

Among the 833 proposals received by the EACEA for Jean Monnet teaching and research activities, 141 were selected for funding. The proposal for a module on “European Union Law and Sustainable Development” (EULawSD), presented by Prof. Riccardo Pavoni of the University of Siena together with Mr. Dario Piselli (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies), Prof. Sonia Carmignani, Prof. Federico Lenzerini, Prof. Patrizia Vigni and Prof. Alessandro Palmieri (all of the University of Siena), was one of them. The project activities will now be hosted by the Department of Law of the University of Siena and implemented over the course of three years.

EULawSD seeks to explore the ever-expanding corpus of European Union Law relating to sustainable development, with an emphasis on its interactions with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The module will consist of an annual 40-hour course primarily aimed at students of the Single Cycle Degree Programme in Law at the University of Siena, but also open to students from the Political Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences departments. The course will be complemented, on an annual basis, by a keynote opening lecture, a final expert roundtable, a dedicated website, and a series of webinars.

For more information, contact us via the dedicated contact form on this website.
For the full selection results, visit https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/news/jean-monnet-activities-2017-call-eaca032016-0_en.