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Severine Deneulin - Human development,two interpretations compared


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Severine Deneulin - Human development,two interpretations compared
Presentation given at conference on 17/18 November in honour of Sir Richard Jolly

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Severine Deneulin - Human development,two interpretations compared

  1. 1. Human development: Two interpretations compared Séverine Deneulin University of Bath, UK
  2. 2. Richard’s work on human development vs. neo-liberalism <ul><li>Expansion of human freedoms vs. maximisation of economic welfare as objective. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizes all human rights vs. political and civil rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Guided by concern of equity and justice vs. economic efficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Health and education are intrinsically valuable vs. investment. </li></ul><ul><li>Important state functions vs. minimal state. </li></ul><ul><li>People as ends, economic growth as means to vs. People as means and EG as end. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Human development may be different from neo-liberalism but it is not yet free of its liberalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Many critique HD for being neo-liberalism in disguise with a ‘human touch’ (e.g. no critique of capitalism). </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of this presentation: examine the relationship between HD and liberalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Note: I will use human development and capability approach as synonyms </li></ul>
  4. 4. Argument <ul><li>On the one hand there is a unifying interpretation of what the ‘capability approach’ brings to social sciences: importance of ethics; wellbeing as end of economic processes; and wellbeing is best assessed in the capability space. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other, beyond this, two main interpretations (parallel with Christianity and different interpretations): liberal-evaluative, Aristotelian-political. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Purpose of CA: evaluation or transformation? <ul><li>Alkire and Robeyns: Proposition for assessing states of affairs, framework for thought for conceptualising inequality, poverty, justice in the light of human freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths of CA as evaluative framework: 1) multiplicity of uses; 2) not attached to political programme. </li></ul><ul><li>Can evaluation be separated from explanation and transformation? (cf. ‘see-judge-act’) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Evaluation or transformation? <ul><li>In works with Drèze, CA goes beyond evaluation. </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow and broad interpretation of CA? often seen as CA and HD distinction. </li></ul><ul><li>Difference of interpretation is not a question of breadth but politics </li></ul><ul><li>Political interpretation: no separation between evaluation, explanation and transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Example of Bolivian farmer </li></ul>
  7. 7. Foundation of CA: liberal or Aristotelian? <ul><li>Sen: Freedom-based conception of justice: A is more just if more people enjoy more valuable freedoms than B. </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of public reasoning: overcoming ‘unreason’ through reason. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Liberal or Aristotelian? <ul><li>But is capacity for reasoning a property of individuals only? Is injustice (lack of freedom) a failure of reasoning between individuals? </li></ul><ul><li>Example of Maasai pastoralist in Kenya and trader in Wall Street </li></ul><ul><li>Structures are the support of reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Cause of injustice is structural </li></ul>
  9. 9. Liberal or Aristotelian? <ul><li>Injustice is not as much as about an individual being able to be or do less of something, but about structures being deviated from the good they serve. </li></ul><ul><li>The idea of justice must go beyond comparative judgements about individual lives and include a judgement of the nature of structures, whether they are ‘just’ or ‘good’, whether they provide the conditions for human flourishing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Liberal or Aristotelian? <ul><li>In an Aristotelian framework: relationships structure a person’s life and the quality of these relationships are an integral part of justice. </li></ul><ul><li>The quality of relations (economic, social, etc.) are as important as individual fundamental entitlements (capabilities) for assessing how well people are doing. </li></ul><ul><li>One’s own good is co-dependent on a common good, a good constituted by our relationships. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ex. of freedom of speech <ul><li>It is an individual good which rests on a common good because it rests: </li></ul><ul><li>1) on citizens viewing each other in a certain way; </li></ul><ul><li>2) on citizens acting towards each other in a certain way because they view each other that way; </li></ul><ul><li>3) on citizens coming together in public dialogue to give concrete definitions of what a ‘free society’ consists of. </li></ul><ul><li>That Germany has different freedom of speech laws regarding the Holocaust than the US is a concrete example of the existence of a common good, of a good which pertains to a specific set of relationships built through history but which does not pertain to any individual life as such. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Liberal or Aristotelian? <ul><li>For an Aristotelian interpretation of the CA, justice is a virtue, not only of institutions but also of human beings. Justice as a virtue includes commitment to the common good, at the highest level, and the orientation of one’s actions towards that aim. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex of family having two cars: increase common good of family but not common good at the level of planet. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why interpretation matters… The case of Wildo a Bolivian farmer <ul><li>Liberal-evaluative interpretation: governments should provide a set of fundamental individual entitlements. But the pursuit of these entitlements by many countries prevents Wildo to live a life he has reason to value (and besides Bolivian gvrt is powerless in tackling glacier melting). </li></ul><ul><li>Aristotle-political: concern for the common good, changing the way we relate to each other and the environment: transforming of unjust structures. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Human development and structural injustice <ul><li>Sen: From development to justice </li></ul><ul><li>Have the HDRs moved HD to the transformation of unjust structures or still at the liberal-evaluative interpretation? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it ask the Aristotelian questions of how we are to live well together, of what kind of institutions, relationships and attitudes are needed so we each can live flourishing human lives on a shared planet? </li></ul><ul><li>How can HD become more Aristotelian-political? </li></ul><ul><li>HDRs are not social movements which change economic and social relations between people </li></ul><ul><li>What role for the UN? </li></ul>