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The capability approach to economic development: its applicability to Sub-Saharan Africa

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dc.contributor.author Stevens, Jeremy
dc.date.accessioned 2008-06-20T13:46:22Z
dc.date.available 2008-06-20T13:46:22Z
dc.date.issued 2008-06-20T13:46:22Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/668
dc.description.abstract The capability approach’s primary point of departure from mainstream economics may be stated simply: it perceives incomes and commodities value predominantly as instruments or means to other ends. In contrast to mainstream economics, the approach places individual freedom at the centre of its attention. Therefore, income is merely one of numerous variables that influence deprivation. The dissertation aligns itself with the capability approach to development in its conclusion that developments’ primary target ought to go beyond a study of the level of per capita incomes as it has more significant moral implication of diminished lives, agonised existences and a large percentage of premature preventable deaths. Therefore, the dissertation advocates a fundamental shift in the measures that economists utilise in their measurement of poverty. Accordingly, the dissertation suggests that the manner in which economists intellectualise the relationship between poverty and the lives that people lead requires alteration. The dissertation provides evidence, using regression analysis, that the democratic frameworks that are in place in Sub-Saharan Africa are failing to provide the negative freedoms that serve as the environment in which individual’s pursue their own conception of well-being. However, the dissertation acknowledges the constitutive and instrumental importance of democracy in the process of development. Therefore, the dissertation argues that it is the shape of democracy that has led to these results in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a repercussion, democracy remains an important ingredient in the development process. Instead of embracing the view that political freedom and, in particular, democracies failure to assist in human development is evidence of a flaw in the capability approach. The dissertation perceives the failure as an opportunity to re-evaluate the nature of democracies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, there is scope for policy makers to conceptualise and implement policies that will be able to harness the inherent strengths of democracy. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Africa, Sub-Saharan economic policy en
dc.subject Africa, Sub-Saharan economic conditions en
dc.subject Economic development en
dc.subject Well-being en
dc.title The capability approach to economic development: its applicability to Sub-Saharan Africa en
dc.type Thesis en

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