Wellbeing, Freedom and Social Justice: The Capability Approach Re-Examined
Ingrid Robeyns, Ethics Institute of Utrecht University
Copyright Year: 2017
ISBN 13: 9781783744237
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
Conditions of Use
Fully covers the primary topic area; as well as critiques of the topic and possible future developments in the subject. Table of contents, headings, end-notes, and the index are all well organized and comprehensive. read more
Fully covers the primary topic area; as well as critiques of the topic and possible future developments in the subject. Table of contents, headings, end-notes, and the index are all well organized and comprehensive.
This textbook covers the topic area fully and from a variety of perspectives and arguments.
Content is up to date and should not soon become obsolete. The author should be able to effectively update particular areas as needed.
The text defines and clarifies important terminology and jargon as needed. Small amounts of outside research my be needed in a few sections for full clarity.
The core frameworks are defined early on and used consistently throughout the text. Terminology is always used appropriately and accurately.
The amount of text between headings and subheadings can at times become a larger block of text than may be preferred for chunking material in or out of a course. The text is generally not too self-referential, and when it is, the book is organized in such a way that allows for easy searching of necessary sections.
The text is organized well and each section leads well into the next.
Displayed and navigated well on a 12" laptop screen, I cannot speak for other devices at various display sizes and aspect ratios.
No significant grammatical errors spotted.
The text draws upon a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and is designed to help explain and advocate for philosophical social justice and wellbeing.
Informative and interesting read.
Table of Contents
- 1.1 Why the capability approach?
- 1.2 The worries of the sceptics
- 1.3 A yardstick for the evaluation of prosperity and progress
- 1.4 Scope and development of the capability approach
- 1.5 A guide for the reader
2. Core Ideas and the Framework
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 A preliminary definition of the capability approach
- 2.3 The capability approach versus capability theories
- 2.4 The many modes of capability analysis
- 2.5 The modular view of the capability approach
- 2.6 The A-module: the non-optional core of all capability theories
- 2.7 The B-modules: non-optional modules with optional content
- 2.8 The C-modules: contingent modules
- 2.9 The modular view of the capability account: a summary
- 2.10 Hybrid theories
- 2.11 The relevance and implications of the modular view
- 2.12 A visualisation of the core conceptual elements
- 2.13 The narrow and broad uses of the capability approach
- 2.14 Conclusion
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 Refining the notions of ‘capability' and ‘functioning'
- 3.3 Are capabilities freedoms, and if so, which ones?
- 3.4 Functionings or capabilities?
- 3.5 Human diversity in the capability approach
- 3.6 Collective capabilities
- 3.7 Which notion of wellbeing is used in the capability approach?
- 3.8 Happiness and the capability approach
- 3.9 The capability approach and adaptive preferences
- 3.10 Can the capability approach be an explanatory theory?
- 3.11 A suitable theory for all normative questions?
- 3.12 The role of resources in the capability approach
- 3.13 The capability approach and theories of justice
- 3.14 Capabilities and human rights
- 3.15 Conclusion
4. Critiques and Debates
- 4.1 Introduction
- 4.2 Is everything that's called a capability genuinely a capability?
- 4.3 Should we commit to a specific list of capabilities?
- 4.4 Why not use the notion of needs?
- 4.5 Does the capability approach only address the government?
- 4.6 Is the capability approach too individualistic?
- 4.7 What about power and political economy?
- 4.8 Is the capability approach a liberal theory?
- 4.9 Why ‘human development' is not the same idea
- 4.10 Can the capability approach change welfare economics?
- 4.11 Taking stock
5. Which Future for the Capability Approach?
About the Book
How do we evaluate ambiguous concepts such as wellbeing, freedom, and social justice? How do we develop policies that offer everyone the best chance to achieve what they want from life? The capability approach, a theoretical framework pioneered by the philosopher and economist Amartya Sen in the 1980s, has become an increasingly influential way to think about these issues.
Wellbeing, Freedom and Social Justice: The Capability Approach Re-Examined is both an introduction to the capability approach and a thorough evaluation of the challenges and disputes that have engrossed the scholars who have developed it. Ingrid Robeyns offers her own illuminating and rigorously interdisciplinary interpretation, arguing that by appreciating the distinction between the general capability approach and more specific capability theories or applications we can create a powerful and flexible tool for use in a variety of academic disciplines and fields of policymaking.
This book provides an original and comprehensive account that will appeal to scholars of the capability approach, new readers looking for an interdisciplinary introduction, and those interested in theories of justice, human rights, basic needs, and the human development approach.
About the Contributors
Ingrid Robeyns holds the chair in Ethics of Institutions at the Ethics Institute of Utrecht University. She also serves as the president-elect of the Human Development and Capability Association. She studied Economics and Philosophy and obtained her doctorate at the University of Cambridge. She has held residences at Columbia University, the London School of Economics and Oxford University. In 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council, to conduct research on the question whether there should be any upper limits to the amount of financial and ecological resources a person could have.
Robeyns’ research explores themes such as social justice and sustainability from the perspective of philosophy, economics and social sciences. She has conducted extensive research on applied ethical questions, such as the ethical analysis of welfare state institutions and alternative economic systems. Her research career has seen her develop into one of the world's leading theoreticians of the capability approach.