Development as Freedom

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Development as Freedom
Development as Freedom.jpg
Author Amartya Sen
Language English
Publication date
1999

Development as Freedom is a book by economist Amartya Sen, published in 1999, which focuses on international development.

Background[edit]

Amartya Sen was the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. His book argues that economic development entails a set of linked freedoms:

  • political freedoms and transparency in relations between people
  • freedom of opportunity, including freedom to access credit; and
  • economic protection from abject poverty, including through income supplements and unemployment relief.

A state of poverty will generally be characterised by lack of at least one freedom (Sen uses the term unfreedom for lack of freedom), including a de facto lack of political rights and choice, vulnerability to coercive relations, and exclusion from economic choices and protections. From this, Sen concludes that real development cannot be reduced to simply increasing basic incomes, nor to rising average per capita incomes. Rather, it requires a package of overlapping mechanisms that progressively enable the exercise of a growing range of freedoms.

Sen views free markets as an essential method of achieving freedom. His work has been criticized by those who claim that capitalism—and especially neo-liberal capitalism—reinforce unfreedoms.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ E.g. Richard Sandbrook, 2000, "Globalization and the Limits of Neoliberal Development Doctrine," Third World Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 1071-1080

Further reading[edit]