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Quelle perspective pour l'approche par les capacités ?

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Depuis trente ans, le paradigme utilitariste du bien-être est remis en cause par de nombreux auteurs. Amartya Sen, s'appuyant sur la lecture de l'œuvre de John Rawls, est celui qui a poussé le plus loin l'analyse en développant de nouvelles notions comme les capabilités et les fonctionnements, permettant ainsi de repenser le développement et l'évaluation de la pauvreté sur des bases non plus seulement monétaires, mais aussi philosophiques, sociales ou politiques. Le cheminement et l'enrichissement de cette approche par de nombreux auteurs peuvent-ils toutefois conduire à l'élaboration d'un nouveau paradigme économique ou se contentent-ils d'enrichir le paradigme utilitariste ? La réponse ne saurait être positive puisque Sen reste avant tout un économiste utilitariste, basant son analyse du bien-être sur l'utilité retirée par les individus de la réalisation des fonctionnements potentiels. The aim of this paper is to draw a framework of the Capability Approach evolution from its roots to its prospects, from the criticism of utilitarian and rawlsian's theories to the freedom-based model of development. The main asset of the Sen's Capability Approach is a new measure of Well-Being based on non-monetary reflexions. But can one affirm that the Capability Approach is a new paradigm? One must answer negatively as this approach remains a utilitarian measure of well-being. (Full text in French)

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV in its series Documents de travail with number 92.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:92

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  1. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 1996. "Capabilities, well-being and human development: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-162.
  2. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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