Ideological Instability and Post-Globalization in the Context of UN SDGs Implementation

Author: Washaya WASHAYA
Author affiliation(s): Doctoral student at the School of Global Economics and Development, Pôle Universitaire Euclide (Euclid University), Bangui, Central African Republic; Doctoral Fellow at the EUCLID Global Institute, Washington DC (United States)
Email contact: washayaw1@gmail.com, washaya@euclidfaculty.net

Keywords: Africa, sustainable development goals, environmental, social, and economic, policy instability, the rule of law, ideological confusion, post-globalization, developing countries, political economy, Marxism, socialism, nationalism, capitalism, geo-economic vulnerabilities, geopolitical competition, governance, institutions, political will

IGOs: United Nations(UN),
World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund, African Union(AU), UN Environment(UNEP), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), African Development Bank (AfDB), World Trade Organization (WTO)


1.     Introduction

Policy stability is essential for the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The rule of law, institutionalism, and democracy are crucial for inclusive economic growth. Political gyrations scare away investors through the creation of hostile investment climates. The effects of government ideologies and short term electoral motives on the achievement of SDGs are a contemporary challenge. Post-globalization wave is also challenging ideological legitimacy and existing power arrangements resulting in the implementation of the sustainable development goals through partnerships evasive. The thrust of this research endeavor is to fathom the practicality of SDGs implementation under ideological disorientation and post-globalization.

The following are the research questions: How practically are SDGs implementable by governments in Zimbabwe, Albania, Venezuela, Greece, Colombia, South Africa, Malawi, CAR, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia, Mali, Uganda, Mozambique, Argentina, and Namibia? How do political gyrations affect foreign direct investment in the context of SDGs implementation in selected countries considering that investors need time for confidence? What are the effects of unstable ideologies on SDGs implementation in case countries? How practically are SDGs achievable under the rule of law frameworks in selected countries? Ideological disorientation and post-globalization narrative set the parameters upon which this research revolves spanning from 1995 to 2017.

2.     Background

The attempt by various developing states to create viable socialist political settlements produced negative development trajectory. While the majority of genuine socialist qualities remain far from being realized, this contemporary period has not seen necessary changes to the distribution of power and political institutions.[1]  These developments had substantial implications for economic transition through liberalization. In many developing countries, for example, Tanzania, the socialist period started with a more limited distribution of power meant to consolidate political power by institutional control of the state and suppressing outside political elements. The effects of socialism on commercial power distribution in Africa were much less successful than its political outcomes.[2]Given the short period of socialist economic policies impact, the achievements in the context of producing an industrial base were initially beautiful.

Furthermore, capitalist differentiation suppressed contextually. Attempts to accelerate agricultural productivity failed. State control of some industries through institutions and strict restrictions on foreign capital meant that the economic power of foreign capitalists reduced. The extension of state companies and market restrictions also reduced the role of role capitalists. Mutually clientelist networks made between those with economic clout and party political power. The Marxist-Leninist variance of socialism policies hinders sustainable growth trajectory.

The failure of socialism to avail a more effective economic transition signified that the surplus produced by the formal economy remained constrained. The problems that became evident in many countries that adopted socialism are well traceable, for example, the demise of Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The central planning architecture in the four countries suffered from the same pitfalls of other socialist economies. As a result, many African countries were unable to change the underlying distribution of political, economic power adequately.  Even under socialism, there was a significant degree of informality that operated through and outside the political institutions in managing critical processes of political redistribution, primitive accumulation, and technology rents. The level of corruption and illegality involved in these crucial transformational agendas became increasingly apparent as liberalization progressed across Africa.[3] The comparative economic transition in the context of SDGs cannot be explained adequately across development contours without attempts to formulate a socialist political settlement necessary institutionalism, and power distribution. Mismatch of perceptions concerning economic reforms and restructuring of the state denotes that neoliberal ideology continues to produce adequate economic policies in developing countries.

While international institutions continue to advocate for neoliberal policies encouraging export-led growth and viable markets for foreign domination, other donor agencies contribute to a similar agenda by supporting decentralization programs. This ideology signifies governments as inefficient, intrusive, and against the tenets of free markets fundamentals. Neoliberalism supports the principles of liberal democracy, in defense of free markets, freedom of individuals, private property protection, and limited government intervention upon a foundation of the rule of law as well as public accountability through responsible government.[4] Liberalism diffuses power and achieves economic and political freedom, which is a prerequisite for the sustainable financial path.  In the context of the economic realm, this illustrates decentralization of financial planning systems and the adoption of the free market supported by supply and demand drivers — the dynamics of free-market capitalism, institutionalism, and the resulting consequences of disrupting this market order. The neoclassical axiom of economic equilibrium in conjunction with the political liberalism together forms the anchorage of a robust ideology. Transitioning from Marxist-Leninist ideological grounding to libertarianism need pragmatic political will. In a free-market environment, no sole economic actor can understand all the inherent models of economic development. The market allows individuals, price signals, and rationale competition to use information which cannot be understood entirely.  Neoliberalism contradicts the purity of the free market system with the corrupted political complex processes.

The ideology reveals itself in Washington Consensus recently dominated international financial institutions development, justifying structural adjustment policies that determined the rules of market liberalization in various developing countries.[5] For the transition, states defended the shock therapy of economic reform, which attempted to support a market society with no supportive financial institutions. In their quick embrace of capitalism, some countries ran up against the dangerous realities of capitalism and difficulties in market relations. Many of these nations had to form government institutions from scratch; than liberal economic policies that greatly influenced growth. For these post-socialist transitions, the view of socialism as a development paradigm prematurely overtaken by free-market systems. These divergent ideologies exaggerate the central role of government in the context of economic growth. While socialism advocated the part of the state as the primary planner of collective virtues, capitalism vied for an economic model unfettered repressive governments.  Central planning is not workable and is against the dictates of market independence. Socialism and liberalism present different societies with false options. Like many ideologies, these two tend to disguise reality. Socialism and capitalism narrate the nature of the transitional phase nation-states are passing. They shape the economic and political trajectories of transitioning countries. Sustainable development does not compromise the welfare of future generations.

Furthermore, viable development concept is a complex describing event at different geographical scales, time frames, and across domains. Society is on a sustainable trajectory if the present discounted value of the social welfare attained at each future date is not diminishing along the way.  The advantage of this is that it brings an operational bridge between experimental measurement and theory. A society’s social welfare at a given period increases if the net genuine wealth is on a positive trend.   Partisan cycles can cause macroeconomic aggregates since left-party governments are more inclined than right-party ones to embark on comprehensive policies but running the risk of further inflation. More recently, left-wing governments have been discovered to be more expansionary than right-wing governments. On the contrary, right-wing governments are willing to deregulate some labor markets and to promote deregulation of transport and communication industries. Parties from the different ideological spectrum may use monetary tools at their disposal to expand economic activity.[6] In the context of globalization, formulation, and implementation of economic policy in the context of governance are one of the challenges. Globalization is currently facing geopolitical rifts between nationalism and internationalism. The impact this has on SDGs implementation is subject to inquiry.

2.1.  Conceptual Framework

To facilitate an array of research theories, concepts, factors, and variables as well as knowledge explored. A conceptual framework for this investigation is necessary. The theoretical framework act as a contemporary map of the subject fathomed.  Interoperability of the concepts in sync with the research trajectory was for methodological grounding. Development of a conceptual framework results in precise focusing on the research procedure. It assists in selection processes of variables, decision making processes on prioritization, causal linkages, and ultimately facilitate data collection and analytical methods.

Figure 2.1 Conceptual Framework (Source: Author)

The used construct encompasses political trilemma of the global world economic order. These parameters consist of the nation-state, globalization, and democratic politics. Contextually, globalization includes the integration of national economies in the global economy, the nation-state focuses on the sovereign jurisdiction in light of institutions and laws, yet democratic politics is concerned with political freedoms, electoral democracy, and political mobilization.  If a country advocates to be staying in the nation-state and democratic political process, it cannot have sustenance in deep global economic integration.

States cannot concurrently follow political democracy, national sovereignty, and economic globalization.[7] The underlying essence of the theoretical framework is that deeply integrated nationalistic economies would be antagonistic with the jurisdictional and regulatory discontinuities made by heterogeneous national institutions and laws, yet, on the other hand, harmonized institutions and laws that wipe away the significance of national borders are in contra with the tenets of democratic politics where there is accountability. Nation-states cannot exist in a vacuum and must strive to improve the economic conditions of their people to whom governments are accountable. Development practice is changing to reflect a more sophisticated comprehension of the rule of law that is transfixed on local, regional, and global context in addressing particular development challenges. Within the justice element, access to fair justice systems, accountable democratic governance institutions, and safeguards to protect personal security are all referred to as being integral to achieving sustainable development. Ideological orientation provides direction for policy stability, the proper rule of law, and transparency. Governments political will is critical to avail pragmatic policies needed for the implementation of sustainable development goals.

3.     Methodology

The thrust of this section is to fathom a plethora of strategies for the study through a methodological viewpoint. The researcher undertakes a particular context of knowledge, including ontology, epistemology, and axiology.[8] In this research, the researcher’s ontological assumption is relativism. The study is guided by ethics and values associated with the post-positivist paradigm under epistemological, theoretical philosophy. Values and ethical behavior of the researcher are called axiology.  The origin of the New Institutional Economics and the dissemination and revival of institutional economics is essential for a healthy market economy.  It explains why political, economic development in the context of SDGs implementation is akin to New Institutional Economics as a development strand. Positivism and interpretive are traditional research paradigms.

On the contrary, post-positivism, realism, pragmatism, dialectical pluralism, and constructivism are contemporary paradigms.  By having a pragmatic viewpoint, results would be valid and eliminate other paradigms pitfalls, through triangulation[9]This paradigm presented an option of mixed research approaches, including qualitative and quantitative. This research grounded on socialism, nationalism, liberal, and free-market ideologies. Political aspects include democracy, freedom, constitutionalism, religion in politics, government efficiency and decentralization; economic issues encompass government intervention, public spending and taxation, economy ownership and free enterprise; and social concerns include nationalism, traditional morality, group rights, and multiculturalism.[10] In the original context of this research, Ideological Instability and Post-Globalization in the Context of UN SDGs Implementation, the study navigates from exploratory to explanatory. These included experimental, case study, archival, action research, grounded theory, ethnography, and hermeneutics. The case study methodology selected because there were several cases would be sufficient to explore the subject adequately.   Based on the objectives and aims of this investigation, both the deductive and inductive methods were adopted. As the topic  Ideological Instability and Post-Globalization in the Context of UN SDGs Implementation can be categorized as fact-finding and have not yet reached maturity levels, it is also a formalized topic which is more effective in establishing a logical sequence; hence both deductive and inductive approaches are appropriate strategies overall.

Qualitative paradigm research epitomized by policies central to the subject’s perspective categorically. Its thrust is to avail deep and thick description of phenomena.  The quantitative methodology employs statistical methods to describe patterns of behavioral traits and generalization of findings from samples.  Complimentary methods used under the assumption that weaknesses inherent in one methodological approach are predominantly counter-balanced through the strengths in another.  In light of the post-positivist methodological approach delved on previously, this study utilizes a mixed-method research approach. This methodology employs both quantitative and qualitative designs. In this inquiry, the focus is quantitative with the qualitative dimension used for further substantiation — limitations of either method hedged against through multi-methodological design.  As the above discussion shows, both quantitative and qualitative methods have limitations. Mixed methods which is believed to counter the biases of qualitative and quantitative approaches, is one in which a researcher base knowledge claims on practical grounding employing strategies of inquiry that involve collecting both quantitative and qualitative data either concurrently or sequentially to best understand research problems.[11] An exponential sequential model was used to combine both the qualitative and quantitative aspects in sync with the research questions, aims, and objectives: manifesto approach, expert surveys, and interviews used as data collection methods.

The study used empirical estimates of substantial wealth across time from the World Development Indicators (WDI). The World Bank estimates of real wealth obtained by making adjustments to gross savings at a national level. Developing indicators of governments’ ideology are difficult due to notable differences in parliamentary systems across different countries.[12] In this study, governments comprising of two or more parties with different ideological orientations included. The research used the classification in the Database of Political Institutions (DPI) for political-ideological direction. The database divides ideologies into for parameters including, Right, Competing, Left, or Center. The KOF index of globalization was used to measure globalization based on social, economic, and environmental aspects. Annual GDP from the World Bank catered for the financial variable. The study employed the Polity IV index to capture for the quality of political institutions. Some qualitative information was from NGOs, Civil society, Academic professionals with political economy expertise, and diplomats with international exposure, document reviews, and development experts. Qualitative information increases the rigor of research findings. It is vital to state here that communications patterns, actors and role, rules and norms, contexts, and locations, play a significant role in information analysis at various levels. Reviewing documents is indispensable. To fathom the relationship between ideological disorientation, post-globalization, and favorable investment/sustainable development, the study used a balanced panel dataset of 16 countries between 1995 and 2017 (Table 3.1).  Convenience sampling was the technique used to select the cases since due to the applicability to the research inquiry. For the state of being in the sample, it must have conducted elections over the relevant period and have socialist historical orientations. The researcher chose countries with ideological instability, including the following:

[See Annex for Table 3.1]

This study used criticality and critical multiplier, analytical generalization, and trustworthiness for validity, and reliability.[13] Within critical realist epistemology and ontology, triangulation is usually reflected in the usage of multiple data sources in methodological design, in particular, the ability to use both qualitative and quantitative methods. Respondents are quite often unable to avail information on sensitive topics for ego-defensive or strategic reasons. Ultimately data collected will be biased towards the respondent’s perceptions. To counter this methodological flaw, vignettes were used to ensure accuracy, avoidance of social desirability bias and acted as a control mechanism.  Confidentiality, anonymity, consent, was an essential point of departure for ethical integrity.

3.1.  Measurement and Codes

The panel data model has the following form:

LOG (GENUINEWEALTH) it = LOG (GENUINEWEALTH) it-1 + αIdeologyit + βPolit  + γEconit +Δ, +  γt + vi + eit. Sustainable development is closely linked to investment in a society’s capital stock, natural, and human capital. This is referred to as genuine wealth. To research the interplay between government ideology, globalization, and sustainability/genuine wealth per capita, the study  applied the following dynamic panel specification to cement findings: LOG(GENUINEWEALTH) it  = ρLOG(GENUINEWEALTH)-1it  + αIdeologyit + βPolit + γEconit + Δit,  γt + vi + eit   where i=1… 16 and t=1995,…, 2017. The coefficient on the first lag of the dependent variable (ρ) measures persistence in the growth rate of genuine wealth per capita (LOG (GENUINEWEALTH)). The error structure includes a country specific effect νi, a time fixed effect γt, the changes in KOF index of globalization Δit, and the idiosyncratic error term eit. The vector Ideology represents government ideology. The vectors Pol and Econ include political and economic variables. The research includes the Polity IV index, which captures the quality of institutions. This allowed the researcher to isolate the short to medium term effect of ideology on sustainable development from the potential long-run effects of variances in underlying political institutions.

3.2.  Data Analysis Plan

The approach used in developing the econometric models involved three steps. Firstly, the identification of suitable models for investigating the relationship between the dependent variable (Genuine Wealth) and the given explanatory variables. The researcher used variants of Panel data regression models, including those with lags.[14]To ascertain model fitting, the ordinary least squares technique used in estimating the parameters of the chosen models.  Model diagnostics involved checking the goodness of fit of the model. The researcher reviewed various aspects that include the R-squared, adjusted R-squared, multicollinearity, autocorrelation, Akaike Information Criterion, Schwarz Information Criterion, Hannan Quinn, and Durbin Watson Statistic. In the context of residual diagnostics, the researcher used both the Durbin-Watson statistic and the Breusch Godfrey Lagrange Multiplier Test to check the presence of autocorrelation. Other tests included the Histogram Normality tests and the analysis of fitted versus actual residuals graphs. The goodness of fit tests (reliability check) involved the use of R-squared, adjusted R-squared, Akaike Information Criterion, Schwarz Information Criterion, and the Hannan Quinn statistic.[15] Multicollinearity was checked using correlation matrices. Highly correlated variables were automatically dropped in the model fitting stage. For Coefficient Diagnostics, the Researcher also used the Wald Test for the coefficient diagnostics. The Researcher used Econometric Views (EViews) version 7 for running and selecting the models. Themes and patterns were used to analyze data qualitatively. Results were triangulated with quantitative information in line with the exponential sequential model methodological framework.

4.     Analysis and Discussion of Results

In this chapter, the researcher analyzed the panel data set and answered the underlying research questions. Final results were analyzed, discussed, and presented. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to fathom research findings.  Cross-sectional models generated using multiple regression analysis was used to answer several research questions. Qualitative information was triangulated with panel data, random effects analytical results.

Table 4.1: Variables Measurement and Scaling Techniques

Variable Measurement and Scaling
Governance Estimates Ranges from (-2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (stable) governance performance) for Political stability, government effectiveness, and the rule of law
Election Thus, a one is stored in an election year and 0 in a non-election year

 

Ideology

 

 

Left (3); Right  (1); Center (2); competing/no information (0);
Polity Score Polity Score defines regime authority spectrum on a 21-point scale from -10 (hereditary monarchy) to +10 (consolidated democracy). It can also be translated including autocracies (-10 to -6), anocracies (-5 to +5 and three unique values: -66, -77 and -88), and democracies (+6 to +10)
KOF Index of globalization The index is anchored on three dimensions, or core sets of indicators: economic, social, and political. It is calculated on a scale of 1-100; higher numbers indicate significant levels of globalization.
FDI As a percentage of GDP
GDP Growth As a percentage

 

Source: Author Compilation

Table 4.1 represents empirical estimates of different variables across time used for decision criterion during analysis. World Development Indicators depicts views of real wealth obtained by making adjustments to gross savings at a national level. Developing indicators of governments’ ideology vary due to notable differences in parliamentary systems across different countries. The research used the classification in the Database of Political Institutions (DPI) for political-ideological direction. The database divides ideologies into for parameters including, right, competing, left, or center. The KOF index of globalization was used to measure globalization based on social, economic, and environmental aspects. Annual GDP from the World Bank catered for the financial variable. The study employed the Polity IV index to capture for the quality of political institutions. Table 4.1 is an essential point of departure upon which correlational matrixes, descriptive statistics, and econometric models oscillate. Logical decision-making processes were anchored.

The information derived from raw data is presented effectively. In this study, techniques of information and data are in tabular, textual, and graphical form. Text is the prime method to explain findings, narrating trends, and availing contextual information. Graphs were used as useful visual tools in the appendix for descriptive statistical representations. The requirement for using text and tables was to make the study more natural to understand, sustain, and attract the interest of respective readers as well as systematically present complex voluminous information.

4.1.  Combined Descriptive Analytical (Mean) Results

The descriptive statistics presented in Table 4.2 indicate that on average, there is reduced FDI inflows, weak government effectiveness, volatile political stability, poor quality of institutions indicated by the polity scores, the weak rule of law, and low GDP growth. KOF Index of globalization on average on overage is low, signifying that selected countries struggle to embrace the tenets of globalization due to ideological variances, geo-economics and geopolitical competition, and other vulnerability shocks. It is difficult for states to work harmoniously across regions and achieve commonality.[16]  Policy instability, the weak rule of law, poor governance structures reduce country-specific business competitiveness resulting in the reduction of business environment competitiveness across countries.[17] Ideological disorientation and embryonic political culture make it difficult for Zimbabwe, Albania, Venezuela, Greece, Colombia, South Africa, Malawi, CAR, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia, Mali, Uganda, Mozambique, Argentina, and Namibia remains a contemporary challenge due to policy instability in respective countries to work towards a sustainable development goals implementation.  Implementing pragmatic policies, achieving social harmony, peace and stability, predictable systems, meritocracy, eradication of corruption, effective governance and the rule of law, and political stability by 2030 is difficult due to embedded political, economic models which take time to produce desired social, political, and economic dividends. It also takes time to reverse nationalist-socialist policies endemic in selected countries to attract investors.

[See Annex for Table 4.2]

4.2.  Consolidated Political Economic Models Results

There is a relatively stable relationship that exists between the genuine wealth and its explanatory variables, and this is witnessed by the overall R2 and adjusted R2 of the mentioned case countries. In an economic context, the interpretation is that selected countries are still struggling with patterns of nationalist policies and political fragmentation that have complicated the process of providing stable and effective governance. Weak management raises severe questions about numerous countries’ political-economic stability making the achievement of SDGs difficult. The detailed statistical results across the selected countries indicate that Agenda 2030 is a very ambitious objective and impossible to achieve due to underlying ideological political, economic models.[18] A vicious circle of development is evident in which diminishing social cohesion places a strain on institutions, undermining their capacity to respond to societal issues. Weaker levels of accountability and legitimacy invite an anti-elitist backlash. Poor governance capabilities, public administrative loopholes, and leadership vacuum are the hallmarks of slowed pace towards realizing the 2030 Agenda. The Durbin-Watson statistic lies between the two critical values of 1.5 < d < 2.5 meaning there is no first-order linear auto-correlation in the data. This cements the quality of political, economic variables included in the model.

Unless selected governments demonstrate the political will and commitment as was during the formation of the Breton Woods institution,  the achievement of the Global goals is wishful thinking due to ideological rifts and polarization. Domestic resource mobilization, which is instrumental in financing SDGs, is difficult due to the weak rule of law mechanisms, limited fiscal space, and inadequate public debt sustainability. Ideological disorientation also scares away Foreign Direct Investment, which is critical for SDGs financing and sustainable economic growth. Geopolitical and geo-economic competition makes SDGs policy implementation across countries difficult.[19] In an economic context, the interpretation is that many developing countries are still struggling with patterns of nationalist policies and political fragmentation that have complicated the process of providing stable and effective governance. Low social cohesion, limited institutional capacity, volatile legitimacy, and unaccountable governance as a result of ideological polarization affect development in the long trajectory. A vicious circle of growth is evident, causing diminishing social cohesion.

Table 4.3: Consolidated Political Economic Models Results

Country Name R2 Squared Adjusted R2 Durban Watson Statistic
Group of Sixteen countries 93.3% 93% 1.7
Seven  Countries from Africa 99.7% 99.6% 2.2
Five non-African Countries 99.3% 99.2% 1.8
South Africa and Zimbabwe 99.4 % 99.1% 2.2
Zimbabwe 82% 70% 2.3
Mali 98% 97% 2.1
Albania 97% 95% 1.9
Greece 73% 67% 2.3
Malawi 75% 57% 1.7
CAR 64% 43% 2
Madagascar 92% 88% 2.3
Argentina 77% 63% 2
Venezuela 81% 77% 1.3
Namibia 95% 90% 1.9
Tanzania 81% 65% 1.8
Mozambique 92% 90% 2.3
South Africa 94% 89% 2
Zambia 93% 87% 2
Colombia 92% 89% 2.1
Uganda 98% 96% 2.1

 

Source: Author Compilation

4.3.  Combined Qualitative Political Economic Analysis of Research Themes

Exploring as well as describing complex, multifaceted experiences and interactions among various variables within a specific context of socio-political-economic outlooks is the thrust of this section to corroborate quantitative research findings in line with the exponential sequential model. A qualitative setting allowed the researcher to get participants’ reflections on the parameters under investigation, encompassing their attitudes, feelings, assumptions, attitudes, judgments, beliefs, and experiences within a particular political, economic, and social paradigm. Qualitative research allowed the uncovering of new latent issues.  It examined complex phenomenon epitomized by multiple, covert, overt, traits as well as interactions. As a result, instituting qualitative methodology enhances the chances of identifying previously unearthed aspects and also increases the capability to distinguish and diagnose core explanations, issues, interpretations, as well as implications of analyzed associations. The validity of research results through triangulation is necessitated due to the usage of many research techniques through ensuring the availability of different complementary viewpoints. Interviews were conducted to capture the qualitative component. Themes were developed in line with research objectives, surveyed literature, and content analysis. The following section presents a thematic narrative analysis undergirding the study. The themes are in the context of the practicality of SDGs implementation by 2030 in line with the exponential sequential model.

One of the experts in political economy interviewed highlighted that the “rule of law is the major setback of development in countries with ideological instability.” The legitimacy of the state and institutions must be anchored on the rule of law.  Case countries under study have a weak rule of law in the context of safeguarding against arbitrary as well as careless governance and power abuse.[20] When policy unpredictability is high, there is reduced sustainable, inclusive economic growth. Policy uncertainty hampers investment and sustainability in countries with ideological disorientation as depicted by one of the key interviewees. How democratic governance is practiced in the overall administration of respective case countries under study is a hindrance sustainable development in the long trajectory. Leveraging development assistance across geographies to achieve sustained growth requires a long term strategy which may not be accessible due to ideological polarization and geopolitical dynamics. Unstable political environment hampers sustainable growth, yet stable political systems are catalysts for long-term growth trajectory. The problem with democracy is voting for what appears to be useful in the short condition while it is not sustainable, for example of what happened in Greece. It takes longer to realize the evidence of democracy, making the 2030 Agenda unattainable.  Lack of institutional autonomy and capacity is a disgrace to development trajectory. Attaining SDGs requires integration of legal, regulatory elements, multiple institutions interventions, and broader societal changes. Economic relations, political governance, as well as social norms among communities, are instrumental institutional parameters affecting development outcomes. Countries under study have weak financial and political institutions necessary for development goals implementation. Institutions shape the rights, regulatory framework, and also the degree of corruption, and market fundamentals. Governments’ market interventions in selected countries impede the corrective capability of the market thereby slowing sustainable political, economic recovery due to the weak rule of law and policy instability as narrated by one of the development expert interviewed. Markets require stable laws and policies for the proper pricing of assets.  Lack accountable as well as transformational political leadership responsive to the aspirations of citizens is an indicator of poor good governance, which is against the attainment of global goals tenets. Responsible leadership foster good governance, build strong institutions, enhances transparency, profer stability, transparency, and sustained development. According to one of the interviewed international development professional, geopolitical, and geo-economic competition is consistently reshaping universal economic trends and global governance power architecture. Mehan argued that the increase of strong-state politics has disruptive potential among the world’s major powers. Geopolitical and geo-economic tensions impede the achievement of global goals making 2030 timeframe unattainable. The adverse effects of climate change paradigm on biodiversity are a difficult challenge in line with SDGs implementation. Climate change risk is a genre out of a bottle.

4.4.  The Evasive Implementation Bargaining Model

The most significant contribution of this investigation to the SDGs implementation context is the development of a new model of bargaining linkages between political, economic variables in neo-patrimonial countries. Respective countries lack commitment towards the implementation of the global goals and have different priorities hence the development of the “Evasive Implementation Bargaining model” in the paradigm of ideological instability and post-globalization narrative. The Evasive Bargaining model is anchored on the parameters of the obsolescing bargain model utilized by Vernon (1971) in his logical analysis of the stability of government relationships and Eden et al. regarding political bargaining model. The theoretical elements of this model are refined, developed, and backed by qualitative analysis results of political behavior and quantitative tests of the institutional environment in selected countries. The Evasive Implementation Bargaining Model emanates from the state and societal relationship formed in neo-patrimonial states where political, economic decisions are not directed towards national interests, but for personal aggrandizement for those in power.

Extreme uncertainty is due to the weak rule of law, instability, and transparency.  Quantitative and qualitative results above augment the Evasive Implementation Bargaining Model development for this research. Ideological disorientation, political instability, weak leadership, limited meritocracy, and dishonest hamper growth in the short, medium, and medium-term.  Evasive prioritization of development priorities makes these political, economic models achievement by 2030 blurred. Lack of political will is also a contributing factor to these aspects. Political polarization and ideological rifts are also a force to reckon with. Contexts and locations, rules and norms, fragmentation of the global governance system affect development trajectory. There are inadequate justice systems for innovation and cohesion for SDGs progress. Countries struggle to embrace the tenets of globalization due to ideological variances, geo-economics and geopolitical competition, weak institutions, policy instability, and limited effectiveness. Ideological uncertainty affects countries’ efforts to implement pragmatic political, economic policies sustainably making agenda 2030 bleak.

Figure 4.1 Evasive Implementation Bargaining Model (Source: Author Initiative)

4.5.  Integrative Answering of Research Questions

Empirical results fathomed were triangulated with qualitative information to augment research findings using a multi-methodological approach. It is essential to state here that the philosophical theory of pragmatism motivates an integrative approach to research inquiry.

Question 1: How practically are SDGs implementable by governments in Zimbabwe, Albania, Venezuela, Greece, Colombia, South Africa, Malawi, CAR, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia, Mali, Uganda, Mozambique, Argentina, and Namibia?

This is difficult to achieve due to ideological instability, the weak rule of law, institutional capture, and democracy deficit in selected countries. Societies affected by low social cohesion, low institutional capacity, weak societal resilience, limited legitimacy, find it challenging to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030. Lack of political will, geopolitical and economic vulnerabilities, policy and political instability, corruption, poor governance, weak leadership, poor property rights, limited meritocracy, and evasive implementation affect SDGs achievements. Policy inconsistencies are rife in developing countries, making the investment climate unfavorable for Foreign Direct Investment, which is crucial for achieving sustainable, inclusive economic growth. Reversing ideologically induced policies need a considerable period making Agenda 2030 implementation difficult. Governments’ interventions in market fundamentals due to socialist policies produces economic policies that are only effective for a limited period and have devastating consequences in the long haul.

Question 2: How do political gyrations affect foreign direct investment in the context of SDGs implementation in Africa, considering that investors need time for confidence?

Policy uncertainty and ideological back and forth is a hindrance to Foreign Direct Investment, and it takes more than ten years to reverse ideologically induced policies which scare away investors making the 2030 timeframe for SDGs implementation impractical. Policy stability is critical for FDI attraction. The Weak rule of law mechanism and ideological instability in the selected case countries is counter-productive. Many African countries choice of socialism as their official ideology and policy has been damaging for economic growth and development. It takes more than ten years to reverse ideologically induced policies which scare away investors.

Question 3: What are the effects of unstable ideologies on SDGs implementation in Zimbabwe, Albania, Venezuela, Greece, Colombia, South Africa, Malawi, CAR, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia, Mali, Uganda, Mozambique, Argentina, and Namibia

Economic policymaking needs a considerable period to produce results. Lack of ideological direction results in economic policies that have limited impact, and this does not bode well with the dictates of sustainable development. It is against this background that achieving long-term policy stability and strategy at local, international, and regional levels is difficult due to ideological instability making the achievement of the Agenda 2030 a wishful thinking as a result of deceptive implementation. This ideological disorientation is detrimental to the achievement of SDGs. Economic policymaking needs a considerable period to produce results.

Lack of ideological direction results in economic policies that have limited impact, and this does not bode well with the dictates of sustainable development. It is against this background that achieving long-term policy stability at local, international, and regional aura impedes the achievement of Agenda 2030. The ideology of the main parties in contemporary Africa is centered on socialist dictates with center-right and centrist policies. The majority cannot make these political divides as well as extremism eradicate all the progress made to date, and cause economic chaos again.

Question 4: How practically are SDGs achievable under the rule of law frameworks in selected countries?

The Poor rule of law is a significant impediment of SDGs progress in selected countries. Government effectiveness, policy stability, ideological orientation, conducive investment climate, inclusive economic growth, and the quality of institutions are embedded in the rule of law. The state of the law is not only a totem of democracy but an integral element in every aspect of societal development. The ideological-political culture makes the rule of law mechanisms challenging to attain, coupled with the post-globalization narrative. Government effectiveness, policy stability, ideological orientation, conducive investment climate, inclusive economic growth, and the quality of institutions are embedded in the rule of law. The state of the law is not only a totem of democracy but an integral element in every aspect of societal development. Selected case countries are at crossroads in the context of equality, justice, and human rights, peace and security, as well as achieving sustainable, inclusive growth.  In Africa, the violations of civil and political rights are linked to the denial of social and economic rights making Agenda 2030 attainment impossible. This is predominantly because it takes time to realize the dividends of democracy.

4.6.  Policy Implications

  • Developing a long-term policy strategy across countries is arduous due to geopolitical issues
  • Pragmatic policy implementation is difficult due to ideological disorientation
  • Policy predictability is essential for business competitiveness
  • Unstable political, economic culture is a threat to SDGs implementation
  • Transformation towards sustainability is likely to be disruptive and may trigger more conflicts
  • Putting stability, the rule of law, transparency, and property rights are critical to achieving SDGs.

Transformation towards sustainability is likely to be disruptive and may trigger more conflicts. Strong political institutions will be sufficient for the peaceful implementation of the global goals if competitive relationships, power matrixes that characterize policymaking between markets, society, and state in a multipolar village are reconfigured. If ideological legitimacy, accountable governance, institutional autonomy, and social cohesion is improved, selected developing countries may make an essential stride towards the 2030 Agenda.  Modification or introduction of new better policies, regulatory procedures, is critical to creating an enabling environment for SDGs implementation processes. Public sector generally, and policymakers should change their demeanor for communication and cooperation across national, regional, and international landscapes. The undercurrent post-globalization wave and the nationalist bandwagon is a force to reckon with requiring governments to invest more in multilateral diplomacy.

4.7.  Practical Implications

  • The study reinforces the importance of the proper rule of law mechanisms and policy stability
  • It is difficult for governments to reform themselves out of power for SDGs implementation
  • underlying ideological political, economic models take time to yield desired economic results
  • Reversing ideologically induced policies takes a considerable period
  • Partnerships for SDGs across regions is evasive due to ideological variances and priorities
  • Political gyrations in many developing countries are a killer of FDI, which is critical for SDGs financing.
  • Achieving the dividends of democracy takes a long period
  • It takes a long time to migrate from fragility to resilience
  • SDGs as a policy instrument and political activity is not practical to implement by 2030
  • Governments political will is critical for SDGs implementation.

With no radical socio-political transformational changes, it is challenging to create relevant institutions which are essential to development in the context of good governance. The probability of failure is high, considering that it takes time to realize the dividends of democracy, and it takes time to reverse ideological induced policies.

4.8.  Theoretical Implications

  • Formulate stable policies that foster development in the long haul
  • SDGs phrasing seems to exist in a vacuum in the context of the impacts of ideological political, economic models which take a substantial period to avail desired growth results
  • Sustainable development goals will not be achieved by 2030 due to deceptive implementation
  • Partisan cycles do not matter but what is critical are underlying political, economic models which take time to produce favorable financial results
  • Socialist-nationalist policies are a threat to a growth trajectory, but globalization remains a formidable force
  • Limited political will is a detriment to SDGs implementation.

Sustainable development goals are implementable through policy stability and coherence of policies. Agenda 2030 is not only about resource governance, but also ensuring that political and economic context is conducive for policy dialogue and implementation through the effective rule of law. The nexus between the rule of law and SDGS require continuous cooperation at local, regional, and international levels.

On the contrary, sustainability requires a dynamic policy space that is accommodative across actors. The rule of law mechanisms in countries under study is not akin to sustainable development as the policy space that is required for sustainability is not supported immediately by the existing rule of law standards. Policy instability is a killer for FDI in developing countries. Weak governance structures, including limited government effectiveness, political instability, and lack of institutional autonomy, limit governments’ ideological legitimacy to formulate stable policies.

5.     Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1.  Conclusions

Ideological instability and volatile political culture hinder SDGs implementation. It is challenging to implement SDGs by 2030 due to poor pragmatic predictable policies. Ideological disorientation negatively affects the rule of law, social harmony, policy certainty, political stability, meritocracy, honest leadership, geopolitical and economic direction, and SDGs implementation. Programs of socialist-nationalist orientation in developing countries invariably destroy the tenets of a free society. The problem with democracy is voting for what appears to be right in the short term, yet it is not on a sustainable trajectory. Ideological political, economic models are instrumental in achieving SDGs. SDGs policy instrument exists in a vacuum in terms of political economic models as if the sheer will of governments could accomplish these things. Economic policy driven by ideology takes a while to produce desired sustainable growth results. A long term clear strategy to achieve SDGs at national, regional, or international level is not easy to accomplish due to ideological instability. There are fundamental issues to be addressed before SDGs achievement can be accomplished. Economic stability needs to be secure for at least sometime before Sustainable Development Goals are achieved. Furthermore, all governments announced that they would achieve SDGs; the problem is how in terms of actual results. Maintaining the rule of law is critical for SDGs implementation and investment confidence. Additional, achieving SDGs is a difficult task because it requires vital cogs to work together, which is not east due to ideological instability. The problem with democracy is voting for what appears to be useful in the short-term, yet it is not sustainable. Socialist ideological political commitments have hindered the adoption of pragmatic economic policies. The evasive implementation makes partnership for development difficult.

5.2.  Recommendations

This study concludes with the following recommendations:

  • Re-contextualizing the rule of law for SDGs implementation
  • Treating ideological orientation as a priority to achieve growth and SDGs

Re-defining market consolidation and institutionalism are of vital importance for SDGs implementation. Governments’ political will and demographic dividend play a pivotal role in sustained economic growth. Embedding socioeconomic and political models in SDGs policy-making is a priority. Furthermore, treating policy stability and strengthening laws as a sine qua non for development is of great importance. Respective countries should build strong institutions to facilitate sustainable economic growth and environmental sustainability. Strengthening property rights and curbing corruption is paramount. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda under ideological rifts needs adaptive policy-making processes by nation-states to reorient their ideological, financial models, and market consolidation. Putting governance, policy, and ideological orientation priorities are critical to achieving SDGs.  In the context of the 2030 Agenda, incremental transformative management is vital to make some policy stability. SDGs require collective action, and in this context, political and social institutions, discourses, and dialogs on changing values and norms play a pivotal role in transforming stable economic policies. If ideological legitimacy, accountable governance, institutional autonomy, and social cohesion is improved, respective developing countries may make an essential stride towards the 2030 Agenda. Political, ideological culture should be conducive for pragmatic policy implementation, meritocracy, and stability.

 

6.      ANNEXES

Table 3.1: Countries with historical Socialist transformations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4.2: Combined Descriptive Analytical (Mean) Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[1] Florent Bédécarrats, Isabelle Guérin, and François Roubaud, “All That Glitters Is Not Gold. The Political Economy of Randomized Evaluations in Development,” Development & Change 50, no. 3 (May 2019): 735–762.

[2] Onni Hirvonen and Joonas Pennanen, “Populism as a Pathological Form of Politics of Recognition,” European Journal of Social Theory 22, no. 1 (February 2019): 27–44.

[3] Theodore J. Davis, “Good Governance as a Foundation for Sustainable Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Third World Quarterly 38, no. 3 (March 2017): 636–654.

[4] G. John Ikenberry, “Constructing Global Order: Agency and Change in World Politics,” Foreign Affairs 98, no. 2 (April 3, 2019): 172–173.

[5] Anne Schulz et al., “Measuring Populist Attitudes on Three Dimensions,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 30, no. 2 (Summer 2018): 316–326.

[6] Kristin Haltinner, “Right-Wing Ideologies and Ideological Diversity in the Tea Party,” Sociological Quarterly 59, no. 3 (Summer 2018): 449–470.

[7] Pooja Karnane and Michael A. Quinn, “Political Instability, Ethnic Fractionalization and Economic Growth,” International Economics & Economic Policy 16, no. 2 (April 2019): 435–461.

[8] Nicolas Faucher and Magali Roques, eds., The Ontology, Psychology and Axiology of Habits, 1st ed. 2018 edition. (New York, NY: Springer, 2019).

[9] Alvaro Cuervo‐Cazurra et al., “Research Methodology in Global Strategy Research,” Global Strategy Journal 7, no. 3 (August 2017): 233–240.

[10] Michael Touchton, “The Benefits of Balance: Credibility, the Rule of Law, and Investment in Latin America,” Latin American Research Review 51, no. 2 (April 2016): 195–216.

[11] Michael Williams and Tami Moser, “The Art of Coding and Thematic Exploration in Qualitative Research,” International Management Review 15, no. 1 (January 2019): 45–55.

[12] Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack, “Globalization and Business Regulation,” Annual Review of Sociology 44 (July 30, 2018): 123–143.

[13] Petra Dickel and Peter Graeff, “Entrepreneurs’ Propensity for Corruption: A Vignette-Based Factorial Survey,” Journal of Business Research 89 (August 2018): 77–86.

[14] Yves Croissant and Giovanni Millo, Panel Data Econometrics with R, 1 edition. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2018).

[15] Robert K. Yin, Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods, 6 edition. (SAGE Publications, Inc, 2017).

[16] “Africa’s Fragile Democracies,” Economist 420, no. 9003 (August 20, 2016): 10–10.

[17] Djelic and Quack, “Globalization and Business Regulation.”

[18] Diana Cammack, “Malawi’s Political Settlement: Crafting Poverty and Peace, 1994-2014,” Journal of International Development 29, no. 5 (July 2017): 661–677.

[19] Ellen Hillbom, “The Political Economy of Tanzania: Decline and Recovery,” Economic History Review 68, no. 2 (May 2015): 763–764.

[20] Susan K. Schroeder, “Vision, Value, and Pluralism: A Comment on Analytical Political Economy,” Journal of Economic Issues (Taylor & Francis Ltd) 53, no. 2 (June 2019): 433–439.

Table of Contents