French, Duncan & Louis J Kotzé, eds. (2018) Sustainable Development Goals: Law, Theory and Implementation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 319 pp.


​ISBN: 978-1-78643-875-1

Håvard Mokleiv Nygård

Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Read more about this book: www.e-elgar.com

​In 2015, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were designed to pick up where the preceding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) left off. The SDGs set ambitious but measurable objectives to be achieved by both developed and developing countries by 2030. In contrast to the MDGs, the SDGs are truly global goals. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development consists of 17 goals, supported by no less than 169 targets. To achieve the SDGs, the world community has agreed on a set of indicators to measure progress. This process has identified a range of indicators that tap critical aspects of the SDG agenda. But for several goals, especially the more innovative such as those related to combating inequality (SDG 10) and achieving peaceful and just societies (SDG 16), the indicators still require a lot of conceptual and methodological work. These indicators are particularly important for the implementation of the SDG agenda. This important book contributes substantively to that process. The edited volume consists of chapters that together cover a broad range of the SDGs. The book is particularly innovative in its use of law and normative theory to build a coherent framework in which to work across the different SDGs. In this, contributions point to both the strengths and the weaknesses of the new SDG agenda, and to the broader limitations to the normative framework underlying the whole agenda. The central promise of the SDG agenda is ‘to leave no one behind’. The agenda attempts to do this by working within the new ‘governing through goals’ structure. This book will supply both academics and policy-makers within that structure with useful discussions and analytic tools.