Promoting Human Freedoms under Conditions of Inequalities: A Procedural Framework

S Deneulin

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19 Citations (SciVal)
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Considering people as agents of their own lives is central in Amartya Sen's freedom-centred approach to development. In that respect, the capability approach grants a fundamental role to the ability to participate in the life of the community, which is referred to as the exercise of political freedom. The paper highlights a major tension between the promotion of human freedoms and the exercise of political freedom, and examines ways in which this tension may be loosened. It suggests that the consequentialist space of well-being evaluation that Sen's capability approach advocates be supplemented by a procedural space. In parallel to Martha Nussbaum's 'thick vague theory of the good', which deals with the indeterminacy of Sen's consequentialist evaluation, the paper proposes a 'thick vague theory of political freedom' that hopes to offer some answers to the problems involved with promoting human freedoms through the exercise of political freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-92
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Human Development and Capablilites
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Deliberative democracy
  • Participation
  • Practical wisdom
  • Natural law
  • Agency


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