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Middlebury College International and Interdisciplinary Conference on UN Millenial Development Goals: Call for Papers

Call for Papers
3rd Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference
Progress or Posturing? Examining the Progress of United Nations Millennium Development Goals
March 12-14, 2015
Middlebury College, Vermont, USA

This conference critically examines the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which were designed to significantly reduce global poverty and disease by 2015, thereby improving the lives of the world’s poorest. The eight goals were proclaimed and ratified in September 2000 and then by all 189 states then in existence along with 23 international organizations. The MDGs set time-bound measurable targets: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equity and empower women; reduce child mortality and improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development. As it is now 2015, it is time to evaluate progress on MDG.

In the fifteen years since its establishment progress on the eight goals has been uneven. Some countries, such as Brazil, have achieved many of these goals while others such as Benin have realized none. The point of this conference is to explore why some countries have been more successful than others in achieving some or all of the goals.

Progress or Posturing will be held at Middlebury College. It will offer a critical assessment of the MDGs by building upon existing scholarship to offer new insights into the Millennium endeavor. Were the MDGs unrealistic? What are the constitutive problems with the MDGs? Were the goals too opaque? Were they poorly defined? Who benefits the most from the MDGs? Whose voices were prioritized in setting the MDGs, whose voices ignored? How is progress measured and by whom? Do the MDGs resuscitate liberal humanism for the 21st century? Do “empower women,” and “development” simply serve as alibis for a new form of Western imperialism?
We have identified five major themes around which the conference will be organized: health, education, environment, gender, and global partnership.

We invite papers that broadly address the questions outlined above with specific reference to these themes. Since we recognize that the level of success or failure of each of these themes varies spatially, we encourage submissions from multiple perspectives and locations. We are especially interested in presentations that address these topics in specific settings across the non-western world.

Those interested in presenting at the conference should send an abstract (no more than 250 words) by October 1, to the organizers below. Funds are available to support travel and lodging of all participants.

Tamar Mayer, Professor of Geography, Director of the Rohatyn Center for Global
Affairs, mayer@middlebury.edu

Robert E. Prasch, Professor, Economics, rprasch@middlebury.edu

Tara Affolter, Assistant Professor, Education Studies, taffolter@middlebury.edu

Mez Baker-Medard, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies,

Dates: 6/19/2014 - 10/1/2014

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