SÉVERINE DENEULIN, MATHIAS NEBEL AND NICHOLAS SAGOVSKY TRANSFORMING UNJUST STRUCTURES The Capability Approach THE CAPABILITY APPROACH Structural injustice has traditionally been the concern of two major academic disciplines: economics and philosophy. The dominant model of economics has long been that of neo-classical economics. For neo-classical economists, human we- being is to be assessed by the availability of disposable income or according to goods consumed; it is measured by the levels of utility achieved in the consumption of commodities. Social order is fashioned by the ways consumers maximise their 1 well-being and enterprises maximise their profits. A core assumption is that all 2 commodities are commensurable: they can all be measured according to a single 3 numerical covering value, which is their price. Within this neo-classical paradigm, justice is achieved when the utility level of someone cannot be increased without 4 another person seeing his or her utility level decrease. The dominant paradigm of neo-classical economics was strongly challenged when development and welfare economist Amartya Sen received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998. His work offered an alternative to the neo-classical evaluation of human well-being in the utility/commodity space. The underlining philosophical intuition behind Sen's work is that the standard of living lies in the living and not in the consumption of commodities. In searching for an alternative measure of human well-being, Sen devised his capability approach.
Introduction: The Capability Approach: Transforming Unjust Structures; S. Deneulin et al. Part I: The Capability Approach: Theoretical Discussion.- Capabilities and Rights; P. Ricoeur.- 'Necessary Thickening': Ricoeur's Ethic of Justice as a Complement to Sen's Capability Approach; S. Deneulin.- Structural Injustice and Democratic Practice: The Trajectory in Sen's Writings; S. Alkire.- 'Capable' Individuals and Just Institutions: Sen and Rawls; N. Sagovsky.- Justice for Women: Martha Nussbaum and Catholic Social Teaching; L.S. Cahill.- Part II: Transforming Unjust Structures: Five Case Studies.- Narrative Capability: Telling Stories in the Search for Justice; T.G. Phelps.- Promoting Capability for Work: The Role of Local Actors; J.-M. Bonvin, N. Farvaque.- Enhancing Students' Capabilities?: UK Higher Education and the 'Widening Participation' Agenda; M. Watts, D. Bridges.- Enter the Poor: American Welfare Reform, Solidarity and the Capability of Human Flourishing; V. Rougeau.- 'Patent Injustice': Applying Sen's Capability Approach to Biotechnologies; J. Clague.