An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach

Freedom and Agency

Edited by Severine Deneulin, Lila Shahani

© 2010 – Routledge

376 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781844078066
pub: 2009-08-28
Hardback: 9781844078059
pub: 2009-08-28

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Aimed at undergraduates and post-graduates in the social sciences, as well as development practitioners, this textbook provides an introduction to the human development and capability approach; it also clarifies key concepts and fosters debate on a number of critical issues. The book offers new perspectives on a wide range of topics, which include the conceptualisation and measurement of well-being and inequality; the role of markets and economic growth in promoting development; the importance of democracy and public debate; culture and religion; health; equality and justice; and the connections between social and economic policy in addressing poverty and inequality. Case studies from across the world are used to illustrate concepts and highlight the relevance of the approach in addressing contemporary development challenges. A set of questions accompanies each chapter for seminar discussion to help readers assimilate central points and apply the approach to diverse realities. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the human development and capability approach for students and practitioners world-wide.


'This book is essential reading for all those who wish to understand the Human Development and Capability approach to development. It both explains and advances thought on this important and increasingly influential perspective.' Frances Stewart, President, Human Development and Capability Association 'One of the most important influences of the human development approach has been through educational and teaching at all levels. In this tradition, it is great to see this new volume, which provides excellent academic foundations in ways that are accessible for a wide range of potential audiences.' Jeni Klugman, Director and Lead Author of the Human Development Report 'As poverty reduction has become the predominant objective of socio-economic development, the human development and capabilities approach provides the best methodological path to its achievement. The present volume is a major contribution towards operationalizing this approach.' Erik Thorbecke, H.E. Babcock Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Graduate School Professor and former Director of the Program on Comparative Economic Development, Cornell University 'A commendable pioneering effort, which… represents an invaluable guide for all those interested in learning about a new, if still controversial, perspective on development.' Gustav Ranis, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 'a success…represents an excellent introduction to a would-be new paradigm that is currently in the ascendancy..represents an invaluable guide for all those interested in learning about a new, if still controversial, perspective on development.' Gustav Ranis, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 2010.

Table of Contents

Introductory Note Part I: Concepts 1. A Normative Framework for Development 2. The Human Development and Capability Approach 3. Ideas Related to Human Development Part II: Topics 4. Economic Growth 5. Equality and Justice 6. Measurement 7. Institutions, Markets and Economic Development 8. Democracy and Political Participation 9. Education 10. Health 11. Culture and Religion Part III: Policy 12. Public Policy Analysis 13. Policy Case Studies Appendix 1: A Human Development Pedagogy Appendix 2: Pictures

About the Editors

S?verine Deneulin is Lecturer in International Development at the University of Bath. Lila Shahani is Editor for the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation at UNDP.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development