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The Popular Appeal of the Millennium Development Goals in Wealthy Countries: the Australian case

Timothy Philips

The Millennium Development Goals were announced to the world in the year 2000. Handed down by the United Nations, the Millennium Development Goals promised a new way forward for addressing global poverty on an international scale.A key ingredient for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals was an across-the-board increase of modest scale in the level of development aid contributed by wealthy countries. Yet, while having signed up for as much, there has been a strong tendency among the rich countries towards non-compliance, accompanied by a generalised failure to offer accounts for as much (i.e. provide reassurances). It is my concern here to look at an important factor that might help in going some way towards explaining the apparent ‘bad faith' of rich countries: the state of public sentiment around global poverty. A key line of inquiry I wish to explore here is the condition of ambivalence among the citizens and residents of wealthy countries to social problems beyond national borders. It is my contention that the active indifference of the rich nation-state towards global poverty occurs under conditions where there exists a complementary blasé attitudinal structure amongst its peoples. Using data from a 2005 national sample survey, this study provides information from Australia about the state of public dispositions around the Millennium Development Goals and global social problems.

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).