Saturday, February 10, 2007
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
I am currently finishing up a paper that discusses the issues and approach put forth by Amartya Sen in "Development As Freedom." The approach discussed in the book has been developed by Sen throughout his academic career. With the publication of the book, the capability approach gained significantly more recognition. Particularly interesting is the fact that it has sparked significant interdisciplinary debate, as well as a questioning of the development orthodoxy. The capability approach, in my estimation, represents a significant shift in terms of conceptualizing, as well as operationalizing development. This opinion is clearly shared by many others as the capability approach has spawned nearly 150 academic articles, as well as over 20 books in only the past two years. I would recommend the book to anyone as it represents an attempt by Sen to make the capability approach accessible generally, and in this pursuit, I think he succeeds admirably.