Participation and Culture

Sabina Alkire

in Valuing Freedoms

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199245796
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600838 | DOI:
 Participation and Culture

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Each of the four chapters of Part I of the book synthesizes one aspect that must be specified in the operationalization of the capability approach, then proposes a framework for doing so. This fourth chapter considers the relationship between choice, self‐direction, and the construction of cultural values and identities. It analyses the different possible values of community participation in poverty reduction initiatives, and also draws out considerations regarding the responsibilities that outside actors may have in generating and providing to decision‐makers the information necessary to make informed choices. It draws Amartya Sen's capability approach into discussion with the participatory processes that have been common in micro‐economic development initiatives, and that are becoming increasingly popular in macroeconomic approaches as well, and, in particular, focuses on community participation in development activities that are partly supported by resources external to the community, whether these be from regional or national government, NGOs, or other sources. The main sections of the chapter are: Participation: Means, Ends, Debate, and Identity; Subsidiarity; and External Assistance.

Keywords: Amartya Sen; capability approach; choice; community participation; cultural values and identities; development activities; External Assistance; external support; informed choice; micro‐economic development initiatives; operationalization; participation; participatory processes; poverty reduction; self‐direction; Subsidiarity

Chapter.  15132 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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