Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"Creating Capabilities": New book by Martha Nussbaum

Creating Capabilities
The Human Development Approach

by Martha C. Nussbaum

(Harvard University Press, March 2011)

256 pages


If a country’s Gross Domestic Product increases each year, but so does the percentage of its people deprived of basic education, health care, and other opportunities, is that country really making progress? If we rely on conventional economic indicators, can we ever grasp how the world’s billions of individuals are really managing?

In this powerful critique, Martha Nussbaum argues that our dominant theories of development have given us policies that ignore our most basic human needs for dignity and self-respect. For the past twenty-five years, Nussbaum has been working on an alternate model to assess human development: the Capabilities Approach. She and her colleagues begin with the simplest of questions: What is each person actually able to do and to be? What real opportunities are available to them?


1. A Woman Seeking Justice
2. The Central Capabilities
3. A Necessary Counter-theory
4. Fundamental Entitlements
5. Cultural Diversity
6. The Nation and Global Justice
7. Philosophical Influences
8. Capabilities and Contemporary Issues

Martha Nussbaum is Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

See my previous posts the on the capabilities approach here, here and here.

1 comment:

Guido Everts said...

"How to export Western individualism worldwide" would be a better title foor Nussbaum's newest book. Not one word about the importance of a cultural identity, of collective tradition about which no Westerner is informed as to his own doings and not-doings. Nussbaum should ask the materially poor majority of this world to help her find our own, western collectivity and identity. For she is looking for that, making the Whole World look like her own materialistic comfort. She will get the answer, looking for that: "Quality of life in the West? But that's a good idea!"