Sample    writing    Philip    Skoczkowski        
This essay attempts to discuss how the Millennium Development Goals have been progressing 
development efforts globally, while looking at emerging development partners, namely China, 
perpetuating alternative development practices in Cambodia and Africa. The argument is that despite 
changing development paradigms into very hopeful, humanistic driven narratives- there is relatively little 
evidence of this taking place. Economical and infrastructural development is proceeding, while social 
capital is being left behind. China’s role in Cambodia is a perfect example of how development is being 
captured by kleptocratic groups, and immense human potential is being diverted away from fulfilling 
actual, human-led, and environmentally accountable development practices. Realist international relations 
are disabling global powers to cooperate in meaningful development oriented ways and there is a great 
disconnect between institutionalized concepts of development and real, actual development. 
Engaging in research on development paradigms has never been more mindboggling, given how 
globalized and yet simultaneously fragmentized the contemporary world has become. In the past forty 
years humanity has come an almost unimaginable long way in terms of economical and technological 
development, however what is being witnessed is its equally unimaginable distribution. It cannot be 
stressed enough how progressive human achievements in technology- science have been within this short 
time frame. Most developing countries made dramatic yet often underestimated progress in health, 
education and basic living stands in recent decades, with many of the poorest countries posting the greatest 
gains, yet patterns of achievement vary greatly, and as the 2010 United Nations Human Development 
Report (HDR) confirms two central contentions of the report from the outset: “human development is 
different from economic growth, and substantial achievements are possible even without fast growth” 
(HDR, 2010: 49). After all, the Millennium Development Goals do not even have “increase economical 
growth” goal within them. Ironically however, all the goals are depended on the economical factor, and it 
seems that it has been quite successfully overshadowing truly developmental efforts. “They [the MDGs] 
envelop you in a cloud of soft words and good intentions and moral comfort; they are gentle, there is nothing conflictual in them; they are kind, they offer only good things to the deprived… No wonder it is 
the juggernaut of all bandwagons” (Saith, 2006: 1167). Despite the critically acclaimed vagueness of these 
goals, determination in addressing them has come with great results. In 1990, an estimated 47% of people 
in developing countries were living on less than $1.25 a day. By 2010, this had fallen to 22%, suggesting 
the world met the MDG target on extreme poverty five years before the 2015 deadline. This is in part of 
China’s dramatic progress, where in 1990 an estimated 60% of China’s population was living in extreme 
poverty and by 2005 that number was just 16% and 12% in 2010 (Harris and Provost, 2013). Given such 
great achievements, it is therefore one should turn to China in search of seemingly effective development 
strategies, and look at what development at large can and arguably should be. 
Sample    writing    Philip    Skoczkowski