Chapter

Introduction: Capability and Valuation

Sabina Alkire

in Valuing Freedoms

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199245796
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600838 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199245797.003.0001
 Introduction: Capability and Valuation

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Starts with an overview of the problem of capability and valuation in the context of Amartya Sen's capability approach. It describes the book as an attempt to operationalize the capability approach, and takes as a focal problem the need for a methodology by which Oxfam field staff in Pakistan could identify which ‘valuable’ capabilities a development activity had expanded or contracted. The rest of the chapter identifies the problem more precisely: Sen's capability approach is introduced, and several salient criticisms of it are reviewed; the need for a framework is discussed; and the approach taken by John Finnis summarized. Finally, the key terms and sources used in the book are introduced, and the structure of the book is outlined, showing the relation of each chapter to the overall topic. The chapters are tethered to the problem of how to identify, obtain, and process the information that is required to implement the capability approach in the assessment of poverty reduction initiatives at the micro‐economic level.

Keywords: Amartya Sen; capability approach; criticism of Sen's capability approach; development activity; John Finnis; microeconomics; Pakistan; poverty reduction; valuable capabilities; valuation

Chapter.  11719 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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