Inclusion and commitment build freedom, Part I

Inclusion and commitment build freedom, Part I

Opportunities and Capabilities together build freedom.

Opportunities and Capabilities together build freedom.

Here’s the first part of  my HDCA presentation as a Capabilities Scholar.  Full academic paper to come in December.

Thesis: Inclusion and commitment build freedom. Freedom is necessary for sustainability.

Working definition of freedom (Sen, 2010): “Freedom to achieve things one has reason to value.”

Here is the introduction of my supply and demand model of the Capabilities Approach.  My argument here is that Opportunities and Capabilities can be both dependent and independent variables.  Opportunities are understood as things outside one’s immediate control such as market prices and access to goods and services.  Capabilities are things that can be individually obtained such as skills, physical mobility, and knowledge.  When opportunities and capabilities are in balance, then a degree of freedom is enjoyed.  If there is a drop in Opportunities such as a world market crash in quinoa prices than the equilibrium is lost and one moves to an area I labeled “deprivation” in accordance to Rawls‘ definition of the term.  In this model the variables can shift and Capabilities can impact ones access to freedom.  For example if one’s quinoa production is low, they have experienced a loss in capabilities.  The market prices are there (opportunities) buy one is unable to fully realize them.  When both opportunities and capabilities are grown together then a new level of freedom is achieved.  Freedom can be realized in many ways, economically, socially, personally, etc.

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