Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction
Sabina Alkire ()
in OUP Catalogue from Oxford University Press
Friendship, knowledge of foreign groups, the ability to purchase milk and shoes, the scent of summer roses: of what interest is this type of information to economists? Sabina Alkire shows how Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen's capability approach can be coherently---and practically---put to work in poverty reduction activities. Sen argues that economic development should expand 'valuable' freedoms. Alkire probes how we identify what is valuable. Foundational issues are addressed critically---dimensions of development, practical reason, culture, basic needs---drawing on Thomist authors who give central place to authentic participation. A participatory procedure for identifying capability change is then developed. Case studies of three Oxfam activities in Pakistan---goat-rearing, female literacy, and rose cultivation---illustrate this novel approach. Valuing Freedoms will be of considerable interest to economists, philosophers, development practitioners, and theologians, as well as to followers of Sen's work.
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Book: Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction (2002)
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