Parallel Worlds: Comparing Rural Development to Development in Global Communities

29 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Jena Martin

Jena Martin

West Virginia University - College of Law

Karon Powell

Southern Adventist University

Date Written: 2018


This paper examines the parallels between economic development for developing countries at the international levels and rural communities, such as Appalachia, within a developed nation. Specifically, this paper provides a comparative analysis between rural communities and their relationship within the national framework (including the narratives, stereotypes and assumptions that are fostered when discussing these communities) and developing countries that are attempting to engage at the international level. Among the issues that this paper will examine is whether, some international human rights frameworks (including a rights-based approach to development and the right to development under international human rights law) can be used to create a positive, cohesive framework that allows for Appalachians to have more of a voice when engaging on the national level. Other issues this paper will examine include: the use of the UN’s sustainable development goals as a common baseline to measure development within Appalachia, specifically within the context of poverty, health, gender equality and infrastructure. The authors use these findings to discuss best practices that Appalachian scholars can draw upon using an international development framework.

Keywords: Appalachia, East Africa, development, development models, development theory, economic markers, human rights, sustainability, United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals

JEL Classification: O1

Suggested Citation

Martin, Jena and Powell, Karon, Parallel Worlds: Comparing Rural Development to Development in Global Communities (2018). West Virginia Law Review, Vol. 120, No. 3, 2018, WVU College of Law Research Paper No. 2019-012, Available at SSRN:

Jena Martin (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - College of Law ( email )

101 Law School Drive
Morgantown, WV West Virginia 26506
United States

Karon Powell

Southern Adventist University ( email )

4881 Taylor Circle
Collegedale, TN 37315
United States

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