The Capability Association, in collaboration with the Interdepartmental
Centre for Social Philosophy and the European School for Advanced
Studies in Cooperation and Development (University of Pavia), the Von
Hugel Institute (University of Cambridge), the Centre of Economics and
Ethics for Environment and Development (University of Versailles) and the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada) invites
researchers from different disciplines to submit papers on issues
addressed by the capability approach.
The general aim of this third conference, that follows up from the two
previous conferences organised in Cambridge on SenвЂ™s and NussbaumвЂ™s
capability approach, is to provide a forum for discussion for the work
being done on this topic and to enhance the network of researchers
that has emerged from the previous meetings
In this third conference a special emphasis will be given to the concept
of sustainable development. Papers examining the main conference
topic are invited to answer to one of the following topics:
The growing interest that has been shown in recent
years in the global dimension of social institutions and practices has
included an awareness of the need to extend discussions in normative
ethics about the nature of justice from the national to the international
level. The capability approach may provide a useful and interesting
perspective on this challenging problem. Many questions, however,
remain unanswered. For example, is there a conflict within the capability
approach between the need to take into account the nature of local
circumstances and the commitment to universal criteria of justice? Is it
possible to identify evaluative criteria within the capability approach
that are context-dependent and do not assume a particular conception
of the good life? Can the capability approach provide us with a possible
interpretation of ethical universalism? Papers exploring these
philosophical issues, or their implications for institution building and public
policy, are welcome.
Socially sustainable development:
the social dimensions of sustainable
development are currently mostly underestimated. The persistence of
poverty and social exclusion during growth, the increase in inequality
and vulnerability everywhere, brings back this issue on the scene. The
idea of вЂњsocially sustainable developmentвЂќ aims at combining poverty
reduction with the issue of monitoring inequality in order to generate a
long-term development that cannot be jeopardised by social motives.
Therefore, a proposed definition for вЂњsocially sustainable developmentвЂќ
may be вЂњa development which implies that public policies вЂ“ geared
towards economic, social and ecological issues вЂ“ do not generate social
dysfunctionings (exclusion, poverty, conflicts) in such a way that they
jeopardise the capacity of current and future generations to improve
their well-beingвЂќ. Papers that address those issues are welcome.
Poverty, the Environment and Sustainable Freedom:
the World Summit
on Sustainable Development (WSSD) clearly highlighted the critical links
between poverty and human well-being with the environment or more
specifically, ecosystems and ecosystem services. But in many ways
human functionings and capabilities are similar and complementary to
ecosystem functioning and ecosystem capabilities. Papers that explore
the links between ecosystems and capabilities and how this knowledge
will go towards poverty reduction and increase human well-being ae
Capability approach from a dynamic perspective:
evolving characteristics of human beings. We can consider them to be
static for evaluative purposes, but the fact remains that they are
dynamic and develop according to past and future outcomes.
Sustainable development is also about dynamics: about preserving the
past in face of what might happen in the future. We cannot discuss intragenerational
and inter-generational inequalities without a framework
and tools specially tailored to handle the temporal complex interactions
that emerge from them. Papers on other capability issues, related to
dynamics, such as e.g. childrenвЂ™s capabilities, path-dependence
capabilities and the influence of expected behaviour in shaping
capabilities are welcome.
Papers on all areas of the capability approach are equally welcome.
Sessions on issues such as poverty and inequality, gender and intrahousehold
distribution, formal and informal institutions, health and
education, theoretical issues and technical matters in operationalising
the capability approach will be organized. Foundational philosophical
issues are also an important part of the meeting.
The conference will consist of parallel sessions for presentation and
discussion of papers, plenary sessions with keynote speakers, including
Professor Amartya Sen and Professor Martha Nussbaum, and sessions for
working groups to discuss and identify open issues to be examined in
depth. Poster sessions could be organized.
The deadline for submission of paper proposals is 1 MAY 2003 and full
papers will be due on 1 AUGUST 2003.
Paper proposals should include the title of the paper, a summary of no
more than 1000 words and postal and e-mail addresses. Proposals should
be sent to Enrica Chiappero Martinetti by email
email@example.com or by post (Enrica Chiappero
Martinetti, Dipartimento Economia Pubblica e Territoriale, UniversitР° di
Pavia, Strada Nuova 65, 27100 Pavia вЂ“ Italy).
The papers will be assessed by a Scientific Committee including Enrica
Chiappero Martinetti, Flavio Comim, Jean-Luc Dubois, Anantha
Duraiappah, Mozaffar Qizilbash. Notice of acceptance of papers will be
sent by 31 MAY 2003.
The conference fee is 200 euros but reduced rate for students and
people coming from LDC's will be defined. Accomodation in College
rooms and hotels, charged separetely from conference fees, will be
More detailed information about conference and accomodation will be
posted on the web site: http://cfs.unipv.it/sen/index.html
For further information about the conference please send an e-mail
message to: firstname.lastname@example.org