Capabilities, Freedom, and Equality

Capabilities, Freedom, and Equality

Product ID: 18902

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Author: Bina Agarwal
Jane Humphries/
Translator(s)/Editor: Ingrid Robeyns
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 553
ISBN/UPC (if available): 978-0-19-567326-5


This unique volume is the first to examine Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's ideas through the lens of gender. Renowned for his humanitarian approach to economics, his contributions have been crucial to the development of several aspects of feminist economics and gender analysis. This book outlines the range and usefulness of his work from a gender perspective while also exploring some of its silences and implicit assumptions.

The result is a collection of groundbreaking and insightful essays which cover major topics in Sen's work, such as the capability approach, freedom, social choice, justice, agency, missing women, and development and well-being. Perspectives have been drawn from both developing and developed countries, with most of the authors applying Sen's concepts to cultural, geographic, and historical contexts which differ from his original applications.

Significant highlights include a wide-ranging conversation between the book's editors and Sen on many aspects of his work, and an essay by Sen himself on why he is disclined to provide a definitive list of capabilities. The volume also contains some of Sen's original writings, as ready references to be read in conjunction with the contributed essays.

This multidisciplinary volume makes for a compelling read for both economists and scholars from other disciplines, as well as for policymakers and practitioners.


AMARTYA SEN: a biographical note.

FOREWORD: Diana Strassmann.


1. Exploring the challenges of Amartya Sen's work and ideas: an introduction/Bina Agarwal, Jane Humphries and Ingrid Robeyns.


2. Gender and the foundations of social choice: the role of situated agency/Fabienne Peter.
3. Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice/Martha C. Nussbaum.
4. Sen's capability approach and gender inequality: selecting relevant capabilities/Ingrid Robeyns.
5. Intra-household inequality: a challenge for the capability approach?/Vegard Iversen.
6. Development as empowerment/Marianne T. Hill.
7. Development as freedom-and as what else?/Des Gasper and Irene van Staveren.
8. Globalization and women's paid work: expanding freedom?/Christine M. Koggel.
9. Slavery, freedom and Sen/Stanley L. Engerman.
10. Sen, ethics and democracy/Elizabeth Anderson.
11. Does contraception benefit women? structure, agency, and well-being in rural Mexico/Austreberta Nazar Beutelspacher, Emma Zapata Martelo and Veronica Vazquez Garcia.
12. 'Missing women': revisiting the debate/Stephan Klasen and Claudia Wink.
13. The human development paradigm: operationalizing Sen's ideas on capabilities/Sakiko Fukunda-Parr.
14. Continuing the conservation: Amartya Sen talks with Bina Agarwal, Jane Humphries and Ingrid Robeyns.
15. Capabilities, lists, and public reason: continuing the conversation/Amartya Sen.


16. The possibility of social choice/Amartya Sen.
17. Gender inequality and theories of justice/Amartya Sen.
18. Development as capability expansion/Amartya Sen.
19. Gender and cooperative conflicts/Amartya Sen.
20. Development as freedom:
I. Introduction: development as freedom.
II. The perspective of freedom/Amartya Sen.