Development as Freedom

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1999 - Developing countries - 366 pages
164 Reviews
In Development as Freedom Amartya Sen quotes the eighteenth century poet William Cowper on freedom: Freedom has a thousand charms to show, That slaves howe'er contented, never know. Sen explains how in a world of unprecedented increase in overall opulence, millions of people living in rich and poor countries are still unfree. Even if they are not technically slaves, they are denied elementary freedom and remain imprisoned in one way or another by economic poverty, socialdeprivation, political tyranny or cultural authoritarianism. The main purpose of development is to spread freedom and its 'thousand charms' to the unfree citizens. Freedom, Sen persuasively argues, is at once the ultimate goal of social and economic arrangements and the most efficient means of realizing general welfare. Social institutions like markets, political parties, legislatures, the judiciary, and the media contribute to development by enhancing individual freedom and are in turnsustained by social values. Values, institutions, development, and freedom are all closely interrelated, and Sen links them together in an elegant analytical framework. By asking "What is the relation between our collective economic wealth and our individual ability to live as we would like?" and by incorporating individual freedom as a social commitment into his analysis, Sen allows economics once again, as it did in the time of Adam Smith, to address the social basis of individual well-beingand freedom.

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Review: Development as Freedom

User Review  - howl of minerva - Goodreads

Don't be dazzled by the Nobel prize, this is a tedious and ultimately vapid book. See reviews by E and Andy that pretty much nail it. ----- And I'd just like to add, Sen has an unfailing eye for a ... Read full review

Review: Development as Freedom

User Review  - Goodreads

An incredible philosophical framework, though a bit thin on the particulars of how exactly to achieve that freedom Sen's so keen on. Read full review

About the author (1999)

Amartya Sen is the Master of Trinity College Cambridge and the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Science. He has been President of the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association, the International Economic Association and the Econometrics Society. He has taught at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and the London School of Economics.

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