Education, Welfare and the Capabilities Approach: A European Perspective

The capabilities approach (CA) is considered to be a philosophical approach to social justice, a scientific approach to research welfare production on a macro and micro level, and eventually as a potentially new, practically adoptable principle for educational and social service delivery. CA is currently one of the most influential attempts to reconcile the competing demands which are associated with the fundamental conceptions of equality, recognition, and liberty. CA advocates an egalitarian, political conception of social justice which is concerned with the cultivation, maximization, and just distribution of the (real) freedom of persons. Renowned philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, economists, and educational scientists explore the conceptual and practical implications of this approach for delivering socially just policies. This volume analyzes the potentials and pitfalls of CA, which was initially developed by the Indian economist Amartya Sen and the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum.