The Basque Case: A Comprehensive Model for Sustainable Human Development

Papers and Reports
The Basque Case: A Comprehensive Model for Sustainable Human Development
Author: Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu
Published Date: February 17, 2012

In this document we present evidence of a successful model for sustainable human development, within the context of multi-national societies. A Basque model that demonstrates that self-government, that is the capacity of political, economic and social self-regulation, can be a synonym for sustainable development. We offer this Basque Case as an example to those who seek innovative solutions to the complex challenges of the 21st Century.

The model presented is not one of hypothetical conjecture, but an example that draws upon thirty years of experience. This work aims to analyze the initiatives and policies that enabled a progressive transformation of the Basque Country over these three decades, with a particular focus on the period of 1998 – 2008. As a holistic model of sustainable human development we define its successes by economic, social and environmental indicators. Finally, we share our experience and suggest key lessons that may assist others to advance in their own efforts to cultivate new models of development.

This document is written in gratitude to the Basque People, one of the most ancient communities in Europe that have positioned themselves as the cutting edge of progress. Progress that is understood not only as economic growth or technical innovation, but also social progress at the service of the community. A resilient People who have achieved a leading position in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, despite over thirty years of violence associated with the ETA terrorist group.

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