Youth, Gender and the Capabilities Approach to Development: Rethinking Opportunities and Agency from a Human Development Perspective, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Youth, Gender and the Capabilities Approach to Development

Rethinking Opportunities and Agency from a Human Development Perspective, 1st Edition

Edited by Aurora Lopez-Fogues, Firdevs Melis Cin


194 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Youth, Gender and the Capabilities Approach to Development investigates to what extent young people have access to fair opportunities, the factors influencing their aspirations, and how able they are to pursue these aspirations and to carry out their life plans. The book positions itself in the intersection between capabilities, youth and gender, in recognition of the fact that without gender equality, capabilities cannot be universal and development strategies are likely to fail to achieve their full objectives.

Within the framework of the human development and capabilities approach, Youth, Gender and the Capabilities Approach to Development focuses on examples in the areas of education, political spaces, and social practices that

confront inequality and injustice head on, by seeking to advance young people’s capabilities and their agency to make valuable life plans. The book focuses how youth policies and issues can be approached globally from

a capabilities-friendly perspective; arguing for the promotion of freedoms and opportunities both in educational and political spheres, with the aim of developing a more just world. With a range of studies from multiple and

diverse national contexts, including Russia, Spain, South Africa, Tanzania, Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Colombia, India and Argentina, this important multidisciplinary collection will be of interest to researchers within youth

studies, gender studies and development studies, as well as to policy makers and NGOs.


This is an exciting new book. Written largely by emerging researchers from several countries and disciplines, the volume treads a careful and principled line between reflecting on the ways in which young people, especially young women, face a hostile world and highlighting ways in which young people are agents for positive change.

Professor Simon McGrath PhD FAcSS FRSA, University of Nottingham, UNESCO Chair in the Political Economy of Education, Associate Head of School.

For those who want to feel inspired by the possibilities for young people everywhere to live flourishing lives, this is essential reading. Case studies from all over the world show the potential of thinking about youth, gender and social justice through the prism of expanding freedom and opportunities to make life choices.

Monica McLean, Professor of Education, School of Education, University of Nottingham.

This is a timely volume which explores how education becomes both an individual and a public good that benefits communities and nations. The editors have done a wonderful job in drawing together the gendered experiences of young people from across the globe. The book is a necessary reference point for those interested in the potential of education in delivering global development.

Parvati Raghuram, Professor of Geography and Migration at The Open University.

Youth, Gender and the Capabilities Approach to Development draws on a variety of case studies (from South Africa, Tanzania, Russia, India, Columbia, Spain, Morocco and Turkey) to bring contemporary development issues to the fore. Cutting across and beyond gender, culture, politics and economic spheres, this edited collection provides a comprehensive understanding of diverse global and complex experiences of youth. In so doing, it provides a foundation from which to critically reflect on the effects of both individual and group capabilities and agency.

Faith Mkwananzi, Higher Education and Human Development Research Group, University of the Free State, South Africa

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors



Aurora Lopez-Fogues and Firdevs Melis Cin

PART I: Aspirations and agency: issues of gender and justice in the educational programs and spheres

Chapter 1 - Human capabilities and gender equality: what do higher education students have reason to value?

Melanie Walker and Sonja Loots

Chapter 2 - Well-being freedoms to construct one’s educational career: narratives from Tanzania and South Africa

Mari-Anne Okkolin and Bhavani Ramamoorthi

Chapter 3 - A capability approach to participatory research platforms for young black women in South African higher education

Talita Calitz

Chapter 4 - Young Academics, Gender, and Chairs at Universities in Russia

Natalia Karmaeva

Chapter 5 Capitals and Capabilities: Social Reproduction of Inequalities in Sripuram

Laksh Venkataraman

PART II: Political & Public Space: Development and enactment of agency and capabilities for change and justice

Chapter 6 – Ciudad Comuna: Re-signifying territory based on communitarian communication

Angela Garces Montoya and Leonardo Jimenez Garcia

Chapter 7 - If you can see me, then I am here. Using participatory video in researching young people’s aspirations

Aurora Lopez-Fogues, Alejandra Boni Aristizabal, Gynna Millan Franco and Sergio Belda-Miquel

Chapter 8 - Gender, Subjective well-being and capabilities: an application to the Moroccan Youth

El Mahdi Khouaja , Noémie Olympio and Gwendoline Promsopha

Chapter 9 - Agency, Forced Migration and Social Capital: The case of Young Syrian Refugee Women in Turkey

Zeynep Balcioglu

Chapter 10 - Scrutinising the Motivation of Women: Stories of Resistance to the 2016 Coup D’état Attempt in Turkey

Pınar Uyan-Semerci and Firdevs Melis Cin


About the Editors

Aurora Lopez-Fogues is a teacher in a Vocational Education and Training college, researcher in INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) and an Associate Professor at the Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain.

Firdevs Melis Cin is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Geography at the Open University, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Explorations in Development Studies

The series features innovative and original research at the regional and global scale. Its scope extends to scholarly works that take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach.

In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from junior authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries