An Unworkable Idea or a Promising Alternative? Sen's Capability Approach Re-examined
AbstractThis paper presents an analysis and an assessment of Amartya Sen’s capability approach. In the first part, it gives a detailed explanation of the capability approach. It analyses the core concepts and tries to clarify confusions in the literature by looking at different interpretations and usages. In the second part of the paper the major critiques on the capability approach are scrutinised. It is argued that some of those critiques are based on mistaken interpretations, while others follow from a too narrow reading. At the same time it is recognised that theoretical and empirical applications of the capability approach nevertheless remain to address a number of difficulties. The paper also includes an annotated survey of the existing empirical applications. Ultimately, both the assessment of the critiques as well as the survey of applications provide support for Sen’s claim to see the capability approach as a framework of thought, which can address diverse problems and can be applied in quite different ways.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0030.
Date of creation: Mar 2000
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-HPE-2008-04-12 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2008-04-12 (Post Keynesian Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- Ingrid Robeyns in Wikipedia (English)
- User:The Vintage Feminist/Ingrid Robeyns in Wikipedia (English)
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karla Vander Weyden).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.