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There is a growing amount of work applying qualitative methods for capability research with the objective of increasing the participation of ‘respondents’ in the production of knowledge. In this chapter we want to go a step further and illustrate how participatory approaches in research can contribute towards investigating which capabilities are valued, why certain choices are made, how capabilities are achieved and the role policy interventions can play in enhancing and generating capabilities, especially for vulnerable and marginalized groups. By drawing on the literature on participatory action research (PAR), we present our own theoretical framework to analyse and inform PAR processes from a human development and capability perspective. We named it the ‘participatory research capability cube’ due to its multidimensional perspective: (1) the expansion of the capabilities and agency of co-researchers; (2) the transformative characteristics of the knowledge produced; and (3) the democratic processes that PAR could enable both during and beyond the research process. Cross-cutting dimensions in our three-dimensional framework are issues of power and diversity. We then apply this framework to understand a PAR process in Kisumu, Kenya. We will conclude with some considerations on the suitability of our framework for a better understanding of PAR from a human development and capability perspective.
Two fundamental attributes of the capability approach are: (1) a broadening of the evaluation space from the instrumental means such as income to the intrinsic ends of beings and doings, or functionings; and (2) the further broadening of evaluation from achievement of ends to opportunity to achieve those ends – from functionings to capabilities. This chapter accepts the first broadening, but presents a critique of the opportunity perspective in capability theory, using as a platform a critique of recent work on inequality of opportunity. The chapter argues that similar critiques of concept and empirical application apply to capability analysis as an analysis and an evaluation of opportunity. Perhaps for this reason, much of the practical implementation of capability theory ends up by in fact focusing on outcomes in functionings space, with only a loose link to opportunity.
There are two versions of the capability approach, one associated with the work of Amartya Sen and the other with that of Martha C. Nussbaum. The two versions differ substantially in their use of the central concepts and it is not exactly clear how they are related to each other. Drawing on game theory, this chapter presents a framework that synthesizes the two versions of the capability approach. It allows us to give a precise rendition of the contents and scope of capability and also enables us to make a careful distinction between different types of capabilities.
This chapter examines certain connections between Karl Marx and the capabilities approach. It contains a brief discussion of Marx’s influence upon, and reception by, contemporary capability theorists. However, the chapter is primarily concerned with identifying, and reflecting on, certain formal and substantive affinities between Marx’s account of human flourishing and the capabilities approach. Those formal affinities include Marx’s ‘pluralistic’ account of value; his ‘normative individualism’; and his opposition to wholly ‘subjective’ accounts of advantage. Those substantive affinities include the overlap between certain modern accounts of ‘central capabilities’, and the extensive account of the necessary conditions of human flourishing that can be reconstructed from Marx’s writings. In addition to these questions of influence and affinity, the chapter considers whether his work might provide a critical perspective on some contemporary versions of the capabilities approach. Marx’s insistence on the value of fulfilling work and meaningful community, for instance, draws attention to particular capabilities that might be underestimated by others. More generally, Marx’s account of the threshold conditions of the good life suggests that, in pursuing the social and other changes that best promote human flourishing, we should not set our sights too low.
Empirical measures of gender inequality lag behind the more sophisticated conceptual discussion of gender in the capabilities approach. This is due to a range of conceptual and empirical challenges associated with measuring gender inequality in capabilities. They relate to the distinction between well-being and agency, possible gender differences in needs and preferences, as well as household-based instead of individual-based assessments of well-being. As a result, it is very difficult to empirically assess gender inequalities in capabilities with a sufficient amount of accuracy and reliability. In contrast, more progress can be made in documenting gender gaps in functionings. This can be done by using all available individual-level information in standard household surveys, extending these surveys to include more individual-level indicators, and by relying on custom-made data for more detailed assessments. At the same time, measured gender gaps in functionings are not easily interpreted. While in some cases, it is relatively easy to conclude that such gaps imply unequal treatment and discrimination, not all observed gaps can be interpreted in this way. We therefore need to be more circumspect when interpreting gender gaps in functionings, and particularly try to understand much better why these gender gaps exist and, in many cases, persist.
Six decades ago, Cuba initiated a momentous social and economic experiment. This paper documents the effects of the experiment on Cuban living standards. Before the revolution, Cuban income per capita was on a par with Ireland or Finland. Indeed, Cuba was one of the richest of the Spanish-speaking societies. Growth is glacially slow after the revolution as GDP per capita increased by 40 per cent between 1957 and 2017 equal to an annual growth rate of 0.6 per cent—among the lowest anywhere. To be sure, other dimensions of well-being such as education and health improved, yet broader welfare measures do not change the conclusion that the revolution impoverished Cuba relative to any plausible counter factual.
Kazakhstan is a relatively new country that has been a nation-state since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country has been transitioning to a market economy, with property rights being established and private entrepreneurship being encouraged. The transition has led to some firms making inroads into international markets. For this study, we chose five companies – Air Astana, Sberbank Kazakhstan, Kamaz Kazakhstan, Sportmaster, and Tsesna. Of these, Sberbank and Kamaz originated in Soviet times; Sport Master evolved in the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union; and Air Astana and Tsesna are relatively new domestic firms that have tried to develop specific competitive advantages. Some of the capabilities that these companies initially developed were in product innovation, branding, distribution, and human resources. A more general competency that all these companies developed, first in their home market but then in foreign markets, is the ability to survive and succeed in institutional conditions that are still evolving and changing. While new institutions were still developing and building credibility, networks and political connections were still important and played a role in most of these markets.
We analyze how firms from emerging markets upgrade their capabilities to improve their international competitiveness. We argue that firms use a combination methods, the four-I mechanisms, to upgrade their capabilities – imitation, integration, incorporation, and internal development – and that the underdevelopment of emerging markets affects this catching-up process. We propose that initially, as laggards in global competition, firms are more inclined to imitate products and services from more sophisticated firms, leveraging the relatively weak intellectual property protection of their home countries and aiming to serve low-income consumers. As they catch up, firms are more likely to integrate best practices through alliances to obtain technologies, or to learn by serving as suppliers of more sophisticated firms. Firms then incorporate best practices by acquiring technologies or firms that own sophisticated knowledge. Finally, as they catch up to leaders, firms focus more on internal development of capabilities. We highlight how the four-I mechanisms evolve with the development stages of firms and emerging economies.
The human capabilities approach seeks to articulate rights in terms of the conditions necessary for the development and refinement of human capacities. From the perspective of psychological science and the world’s religious traditions, human capacities may be understood as being grounded in notions of the “human spirit” and may be reflected in the proclivity to create, seek knowledge of the self and the world, and engage in moral and/or spiritual striving. In the arena of international human rights, freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) – an important expression of the human spirit – has been clearly established as a universal right. Thus, in a converging view, human rights law and policy may be most effective when they also advocate for the creation of the conditions necessary for the realization of our full humanity, including the moral and spiritual dimensions of human capacity. Given modern conditions of globalization and interdependence, which urgently demand workable, bridging approaches among diverse groups, cultivation of such shared interests and understandings may prove vital. We examine FoRB as one example of an area in which psychological, religious, and rights-based approaches can be mutually reinforcing and ultimately conducive to human flourishing.
In the framework of a critical illustration of the contemporary history of economics, this chapter recalls the foundations of utilitarianism and the ethics of consequences and provides a survey of research on income inequalities. Then it provides a critical history of welfare economics. It illustrates Sen’s notion of capabilities. It opposes conservative, revolutionary and reformist views on the evolution of capitalism and, finally, discusses a rather unusual topic, the economists’ ethics.
In this chapter we introduce and explain the key principles of integrated learning and outline ways in which it can be put into practice to provide quality Arts experiences, as well as quality learning in other areas. We suggest ways to achieve integrated learning that you can adapt to construct your own successful program.
We also move beyond the concept of curriculum integration to look at child integration as it should be applied in the classroom. Schools do exclude, both intentionally and otherwise. We explore the justifications offered for, and ways to remove, these barriers to engagement in the Arts by all. We argue in this chapter for the need for everyone to experience the Arts equally, no matter what their background or what form of diverse learning is brought to the classroom. For some children, this is the only pathway to success. In the Arts anyone can engage; everyone gets to live them.
This article contributes to the business ethics literature by applying and extending an emerging theoretical perspective—stakeholder capability enhancement (Westermann-Behaylo, Van Buren, & Berman, 2016)—to previously unexplored areas of business ethics inquiry related to work, dignity, and relationships between firms, ex-offenders, and other stakeholders. In particular, I direct attention to ex-offenders as critical community-based stakeholders pursuing employment opportunities with employers in these communities. I discuss how prevailing hiring practices in firms restrict opportunities for ex-offenders to obtain meaningful work and undermine stakeholder capabilities and dignity. I consider three primary pathways for expanding employment opportunities for ex-offenders, enhancing the capabilities and dignity of ex-offenders and other community-based stakeholders, and maintaining critical employer rights. The article concludes with a discussion of potential directions for future research.
There have been numerous initiatives by government and private organizations to help hospitals become better prepared for major disasters and public health emergencies. This study reports on efforts by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration, Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP) to assess the readiness of VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) across the nation.
This study conducts descriptive analyses of preparedness assessments of VAMCs and examines change in hospital readiness over time.
To assess change, quantitative analyses of data from two phases of preparedness assessments (Phase I: 2008-2010; Phase II: 2011-2013) at 137 VAMCs were conducted using 61 unique capabilities assessed during the two phases. The initial five-point Likert-like scale used to rate each capability was collapsed into a dichotomous variable: “not-developed=0” versus “developed=1.” To describe changes in preparedness over time, four new categories were created from the Phase I and Phase II dichotomous variables: (1) rated developed in both phases; (2) rated not-developed in Phase I but rated developed in Phase II; (3) rated not-developed in both phases; and (4) rated developed in Phase I but rated not- developed in Phase II.
From a total of 61 unique emergency preparedness capabilities, 33 items achieved the desired outcome – they were rated either “developed in both phases” or “became developed” in Phase II for at least 80% of VAMCs. For 14 items, 70%-80% of VAMCs achieved the desired outcome. The remaining 14 items were identified as “low-performing” capabilities, defined as less than 70% of VAMCs achieved the desired outcome.
Measuring emergency management capabilities is a necessary first step to improving those capabilities. Furthermore, assessing hospital readiness over time and creating robust hospital readiness assessment tools can help hospitals make informed decisions regarding allocation of resources to ensure patient safety, provide timely access to high-quality patient care, and identify best practices in emergency management during and after disasters. Moreover, with some minor modifications, this comprehensive, all-hazards-based, hospital preparedness assessment tool could be adapted for use beyond the VA.
Der-MartirosianC, RadcliffTA, GableAR, RiopelleD, HagigiFA, BrewsterP, DobalianA. Assessing Hospital Disaster Readiness Over Time at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Prehsop Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):46–57.
Despite their many contributions, each of the most prevalent approaches to leadership – the micro interpersonal leadership models such as transformational theory, trait theory and charismatic leadership, and the macro strategic management – has notable ‘blind spots’ and relies on biased or partial assumptions. Furthermore, the macro–micro polarization of major leadership theories overlooks important meso perspective processes, such as structuring, which leaders can use to attain a more compounded and sustained effect on organizational outcomes. The goal of this paper is to propose an integrative theoretical framework – value-creating leadership – which provides what is missing from the theory of organizational leadership. Value-creating leadership combines micro and macro perspectives regarding management and leadership along with a meso perspective to create a unified model of corporate leadership.
Current thinking about the methodology of health technology assessment (HTA) seems to be dominated by two fundamental tensions:  between maintaining a tight focus on quality-adjusted life-years and broadening its concern out to pay attention to a broader range of factors, and  between thinking of the evaluative dimensions that matter as being objectively important factors or as ones that are ultimately of merely subjective importance. In this study, I will argue that health is a tremendously important all-purpose means to enjoying basic human capabilities, but a mere means, and not an end. The ends to which health is a means are manifold, requiring all those engaged in policy making to exercise intelligence in a continuing effort to identify them and to think through how they interrelate. Retreating to the subjective here would be at odds with the basic idea of HTA, which is to focus on certain objectively describable dimensions of what matters about health and to collect empirical evidence rigorously bearing on what produces improvements along those dimensions. To proceed intelligently in doing HTA, it is important to stay open to reframing and refashioning the ends we take to apply to that arena. The only way for that to happen, as an exercise of public, democratic policy making, is for the difficult value questions that arise when ends clash not to be buried in subjective preference information, but to be front-and-center in the analysis.
A right is an entitlement that one may legally or morally claim. Human rights are of particular importance in mental health care owing to the existence of laws that permit involuntary admission and treatment under certain circumstances, and compelling evidence of persistent social exclusion of some individuals with mental disorder. Ireland’s mental health legislation, which is currently under review, meets most international human rights standards in areas of traditional concern (involuntary admission and treatment) but not in other areas (especially social and economic rights). These deficits would be addressed, at least in part, by replacing the principle of ‘best interests’ with the principle of ‘dignity’ as the over-arching principle in Irish mental health legislation. Such a change would help ensure that decisions made under the legislation actively facilitate individuals with mental disorder to exercise their capabilities, help promote human rights and protect dignity. Even following such a reform, however, it is neither practical nor realistic to expect mental health legislation alone to protect and promote all of the broader rights of individuals with mental disorder, especially social and economic rights. Some rights are better protected, and some needs better met, through social policy, mental health policy and broader societal awareness and reform.