Development as Freedom

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Development as Freedom
Development as Freedom.jpg
AuthorAmartya Sen
SubjectInternational development
Publication date
Media typePrint

Development as Freedom is a 1999 book about international development by the economist Amartya Sen.


Amartya Sen was the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics.[1] His book argues that economic development entails a set of linked freedoms:

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.

His work has been criticized by those who claim that capitalism—and especially neo-liberal capitalism—reinforces unfreedoms.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  2. ^ 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]

  • Sen, Amartya (1999). Development as freedom (1st ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198297581.
  • Sen, Amartya (2001). Development as freedom (2nd ed.). Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192893307.
  • Tungodden, Bertil (2001). A balanced view of development as freedom. Bergen, Norway: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Working Paper Series). ISBN 978-8290584998. Pdf version.
  • Sandbrook, Richard (December 2000). "Globalization and the limits of neoliberal development doctrine". Third World Quarterly. 21 (6): 1071–1080. doi:10.1080/01436590020012052.