The Capability Approach : Development Practice and Public Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region book cover
1st Edition

The Capability Approach
Development Practice and Public Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region

ISBN 9781138243606
Published December 8, 2016 by Routledge
232 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book provides a unique laboratory of ‘capabilities in practice’ in the Asia-Pacific region. It explores the application of the capability approach in development practice and public policy from a multidisciplinary perspective by bringing together scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including development studies, health policy, political science, political theory, political economy, architecture, indigenous studies, urban planning and communication technologies.

The first part of the book provides a foundational theoretical framework to introduce the empirical applications of the capability theory in different areas of development practice and public policy in the Asia-Pacific region. This part discusses thorny issues in capability theory and raises the potential for capability theory to lead to new ways of thinking about old problems.

The second part discusses the application of the capability approach to intransigent problems of marginalisation and the articulation of public policy in New Zealand and Australia. In particular, this part focuses on the potential implications that a capability-based approach can have on the well-being of indigenous peoples in both countries, as well as children, older renters, and urban dwellers in Australia.

The third part elucidates how capability theory is being applied by researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to local issues in developing countries such as Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. In doing so, it provides original content to the world market in capability theory by focussing on this often-neglected area of scholarship.

As a whole, this volume offers a unique and innovative scrutiny of a multifaceted capability-based analysis of development practice and public policy. The scope and breadth of this volume advance the application of the capability approach and offer an indispensable resource to scholars, researchers, policy makers and policy practitioners interested in the theoretical insights and practical implications of the capability approach.

Table of Contents

Introduction Katharine Gelber and Francesca Panzironi  Part 1: Issues in Capability Theory  1. The Capability Approach: Its Interpretation and ‘Limitations’ Mozaffar Qizilbash  2. Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach: Its Impact on Theory and Practice in Social Development Richard Hugman  3. Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach and Freedom of Speech Katharine Gelber  Part 2: Developed Countries in the Asia-Pacific: Marginalisation, Well-being and Public Policy  4. Thinking About Maori Development in Terms of the Capability Approach: The Shift Towards the Adoption of the Maori Potential Approach Manuhuia Barcham  5. The ‘Indigenous Capability Right to Health’ and Australia’s ‘Close the Gap’ Indigenous Health Policy Francesca Panzironi  6. Aboriginal Peoples’ Participation in the Review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 in South Australia David Baker, Francesca Panzironi and Sydney Sparrow  7. Living on the Margins: The Capabilities of Older Renters in Sydney, Australia Alan Morris  8. A Method for Assessing the Adequacy of Australian Children’s Living Standards Gerry Redmond  9. Beyond Participation: A Capability Approach to Urban Development in Sydney Andy Dong  Part 3: Developing Countries in the Asia-Pacific  10. Samoa, Vanuatu and New Zealand: Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Programs John Schischka  11. Re-Evaluating the MDG framework in Papua New Guinea Joy Paton and Elisabeth Valiente-Riedl  12. Sri Lanka: Using Information and Communications Technology to Build Capabilities for Wellbeing in Post-Conflict Communities Donna Vaughan

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Francesca Panzironi is Lecturer in Development Studies in the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Katharine Gelber is Associate Professor in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia.


"This is a very good introduction of the capability approach [...] The book provides a well-edited, serious-minded introduction to the ideas behind the capability approach and its application in multiple contexts. [...] The scope of this book should advance the application of the cpaability approach and is an invaluable resource for those interested in its theoretical aspects and applications." - Peter Larmour, The Australian National University, in Journal of Southeast Asian Economics, Vol 30, August 2013