2014 HDCA conference – Athens, Greece




“Human Development in Times of Crisis”, 2-5 Sept. 2014







The 2014 HDCA  conference will be hosted jointly by the University of Ioannina  and the Bielefeld Centre for Education and Capability Research.

The 2014 HDCA Program Committee cordially invites scholars, government policy makers, practitioners and other interested parties from all over the world to participate in the 2014 HDCA conference.  Original empirical research, theoretical issues, case-studies or reports of experiences, or findings from major research projects, and book panels relevant to the 2014 theme, Human Development in Times of Crisis, or more broadly related to human development/capabilities approach will be presented.

2014 conference theme

Human Development in Times of Crisis: Renegotiating social justice

Over the past five years the world has experienced its worst economic crisis in decades. The ‘Great Recession’ has set back developmental progress in many countries. For industrialized countries in the Global North, many hard fought achievements with regard to social protections are being cut back affecting many people’s fundamental life prospects. Therefore, throughout the world, the crisis is not mainly a financial one; it is also a social and human crisis.  The economic crisis has created a crisis of ideas about social justice and democracy.

The present conditions of advanced capitalism demand as well as offer opportunities for re-evaluating and reconceptualising ideas of human development and human security on many different levels. These ideas profoundly influenced by the capabilities approach have been conceptually appealing but only loosely linked to sound social theory, social-scientific analyses of institutions and political diagnoses.

The 2014 HDCA conference will aim to connect demands for programmatic conceptions and social analyses in order to assess the opportunities for more capability-enhancing projects and public policies. The aim is to help counter the developmental setbacks from the current crisis, and to enhance the quality of society and social justice. The conference will especially focus on the social causes of social inequality, social inclusion, and education – especially with respect to the life perspectives of (vulnerable) young people.




Keynotes / plenaries

In addition to the Sen and Haq lectures, the conference will include the following keynote lectures:

HSR 20130319 Faculty_0035_Reduced Henry S. Richardson is a Professor at Georgetown University and a Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. Professor Richardson is also the President-elect of HDCA. He will give the HDCA Presidential address.


ForstRainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt, Speaker of the Cluster of excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” and Vice-Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies “Justitia Amplificata – Rethinking justice: Applied and Global”.



Jean_michel_bonvinJean-Michel Bonvin is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the Haute école de travail social et de la santé – EESP – of Lausanne. He also lectures in Public Administration at the University of Geneva. He is Chairman of the Swiss Association of Social Policy.


Kaushik_BasuKaushik Basu is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He is Professor of Economics and C Marks Professor of International Studies, Cornell University. From December 2009 to July 2012 he served as the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) to the Government of India at the Ministry of Finance.



Nussbaum Symposium

The hosts of the 2014 HDCA Conference together with the Department of Philosophy and History of Science of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens will organize a philosophical symposium in honor of Martha Nussbaum’s contribution to the human development debate and the capability approach.

Phillip Pettit is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University. He works in moral and political theory and on background issues in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. He is Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.


Martha_NussbaumProfessor Martha Nussbaum is one of the world’s foremost philosophers. She is best known for the development of the ‘capabilities approach’, an influential theory of social and global justice. She has written on a wide range of subjects including ethics, feminism, law and literature, and is regarded as a leading authority on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.






Sen & Haq Lectures

DaronThe 2014 Amartya Sen Lecture will be given by Daron Acemoglu. He is Elisabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His fields of interest among others are political economy and development economics. He is a Fellow of the Bureau of Research and Economic Analysis in Development.


Amartya_SenWe are pleased to announce that Professor Sen will attend the lecture. The 1998 Nobel Prize winner is a leading figure in the field of development economics and has contributed significantly to the research on fundamental problems of welfare economics.


Barbara_StockingThis year the Mahbub-ul-Haq Lecture will be given by Dame Barbara Mary Stocking. She was Chief Executive of OXFAM, UK, (2001-2012). In March 2013 she was elected as the fifth President of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.







Pre-conference events

September 2:

  • Education Workshop 10 am – 12 pm
  • Children’s Thematic Group Workshop 2 pm -4:30 pm
  • Health and Disability Workshop 2 pm -4:30 pm


  • 4:50 pm – 5:50 pm:  Frances Stewart lecture on “The Origins of  Human Development: From Growth to Human Development”
  • 6:00 pm – 6:50 pm: Jennifer Prah Ruger talk on “Health Capability: Conceptualization and Operationalization”
  • 6:00 pm – 6:50 pm: Astra Bonnini’s talk on “Vulnerability and Resilience – HDRO”
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Martha Nussbaum lecture on “Injustice and the Dubious Value of Anger”