Horizons of Responsible Development: from Discourse to Governance

Horizons of Responsible Development:
from Discourse to Governance

Semenenko I.S.,

Deputy Director, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, isemenenko@mail.ru

elibrary_id: 251670 | ORCID: 0000-0003-2529-9283 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.03.02

For citation:

Semenenko I.S. Horizons of Responsible Development: from Discourse to Governance. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 3. P. 7-26. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.03.02


An overview of the narratives on social development that have appeared in the social sciences at the turn of the millennium demonstrates that the vision of the future that emerges is blurred, and uncertainty, anxiety andinsecurity are perceptions shared by the political class and the public opinion. This said, the research agenda andgovernance priorities are torn apart to the detriment of security, equality and social cohesion. The gap which existsin our perception of the future calls for a new approach to development issues. The author proposes a conceptualframework for promoting social change at different levels of community life based on responsible development.This framework has several dimensions: a moral value oriented motivation for choosing development prioritiesand stimulating individual capabilities, recourse to non-material, intellectual and (where possible) renewableresources to promote this agenda, and an institutional basis for stimulating agency, engaging and empoweringindividuals and communities, and fostering civic political identity. Responsible development is not a universalmodel, nor a set of fixed goals, but a reference frame to pursue development priorities based on a strategic visionof the future and on innovative approaches to governance. These approaches may vary to accommodate theexigencies of different societies and communities, and there can be no one-size-fits-all option due to differencesin political culture, economic development and social frameworks, but they do share common basic principles.Social dialogue on the community level and the capabilities approach which has been adopted within theframework of the Nordic model are an example of effective governance practices which fit into this framework.Responsible development is a strategic vision of the principles that can direct communities and individuals topursue development issues and to hold responsibility for the choices they make, for the policies they promoteand for their long-term effects. As such, it requires a permanent tuning of social and political institutions,consideration of changing priorities, values and identities, and feedback between the research and the educationagendas, between the state, local governments, business and civil society. The social sciences are a crucial actorin this process; promoting this discourse in the public space and engaging the political class is a key priority ofa responsible intellectual community.

social studies, forecasting, narratives on development, non-material / intellectual resources, responsible development, motivation of development, subjects / actors of development, individual capabilities, empowerment, dialogue culture, identity politics, civic identity, political action, governance, local communities.

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