The Socioeconomics of Amartya Sen
On Freedom, Capability and Entitlement
By Des Gasper
Routledge – 2014 – 300 pages
Series: Economics as Social Theory
@text Amartya Sen - who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Science in 2003 - is one of the leading economists of his generation. He is best known for his deep critique of the liberal and utilitarian inheritances in economics, including the treatment (or neglect) of values and value-judging in public contexts; and his construction of a partial alternative, including entitlements analysis, the capabilities approach and, extending from those two, an integrative development philosophy centered on the direct and instrumental values of freedom and democracy.
The important new book provides an exposition and assessment of Amartya Sen’s socio-economics, both positive and especially normative, including his contributions to welfare economics, ethics and the theory-and-policy approach of ‘human development’. The exposition and assessment will include discussion of the historical and intellectual contexts. The book also analyzes Sen's contributions to philosophy, the second field in which Sen has published and held appointments.
1. Introduction & Overview: Sen’s Possible Significance 2. India: An Inheritance of Issues, Influences and Ideas 3. The Liberal-Utilitarian Tradition(s) in Political Economy and Social Philosophy 4. Sen’s Critique of Mainstream Welfare Economics and Social Choice Theory – Ending the Informational Drought 5. Building a Normative Alternative: The Capability Approach 6. Building Explanatory Alternatives, I: Entitlements Analysis – On Markets, Polities and Famines 7. Building Explanatory Alternatives, II: Elements of Socio-Economics 8. A Framework for Public Action for Human Development 9. The Preoccupations with Freedom and Diversity 10. Critical Synthesis: Sen’s Significance Reconsidered