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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

JHDC Special Issue Call for Papers – Communities and Capabilities

Guest Editor: Graciela H. Tonon - Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora & Universidad de Palermo, Argentina

Download the Call for Papers
Deadline for Submissions: November 7, 2016.


The community is a totality which is meaningful to the people that form part of it. Community is more than a geographic concentration; it is a concept that implies the inclusion of diversities and their being allowed to share within it. It is related to social support, inter-subjectivity, participation, consensus, common beliefs, joint effort aiming at a major objective and intense and extensive relationships.

The beginning of this century presents us with new models of community which imply that the traditional concept has changed together with the way people participate in community spaces. Today the place of residence is not necessarily the space people identify themselves with, and where they participate. The present social transformations have affected the community’s distinctive traditional characteristic as contained within space limits, to the idea of being formed by a few members that daily meet each other face to face. On the other hand, it is necessary to acknowledge the advent of the digital era and the construction of virtual communities; thus, we should nowadays make reference to communities rather than community.

Public space in the communities has become essential to citizens’ rights, as it should guarantee, in terms of equality, the appropriation of neighbourhood space by different social and cultural collectives, genders and age groups; it is the space of representation in which a society becomes visible and at the same time constitutes a physical, symbolic and political space. Respect for religious and cultural diversity are undisputable, as far as the State is concerned, incorporating the civil society - acknowledged as an active subject in the process of construction of inclusive societies.

Sen's (2000) framework for the evaluation of social states in terms of human well-being, considers the importance of freedom of choice, individual heterogeneity and multi-dimensional nature of welfare. Human capabilities are constructed in terms of the substantive freedoms people have a reason to value, rather than of their utility or access to resources. It emphasizes not only the way human beings actually function but also their capability, which is a practical choice that will allow them to function in important ways, if they wish to do so.

The capability approach has evolved as a theoretical framework for the assessment of individual well-being and social arrangements - as well as for the guiding of institutional and policy design - and its influence extends to welfare economics, social policy, political philosophy and international development (Srinivasan, 2007). This is the moment to reflect about the relations between community and human capabilities.

This issue will explore the concept of community, from the perspective of the capability approach, empirical and conceptual papers are invited in relation with the following topics:

  • Diversity: cultural, religious, gender.
  • Social movements.
  • Public space.
  • Geographic space.
  • Digital space.
  • Citizenship
  • Democracy
  • Community-based development.
  • Community-based budgeting.
  • Impacts of power relations within communities on human development and capabilities.
  • Impacts of community structures on democratic deliberation and public reasoning.
  • Community Research Methods.

Submission Procedure

Please submit papers online at: According to the JHDC’s guidelines for preparing manuscripts, please send the paper identified as “Main Document”, with all information identifying the authors removed to allow it to be refereed anonymously. When submitting, please choose ‘special issue article’ as the manuscript type, and ‘Special Issue on Communities and Capabilities’ as the special issue name.

The main document should include the following:

  • The title of the paper.
  • An abstract of approximately 150–200 words.
  • Up to five key words.
  • Numbered pages in sequence.
  • All necessary material (e.g. figures and tables and their captions; appendices).

In addition to the main manuscript, a separate file should also be sent, identified as “Title Page”, and must include all of the following information:

  • The title of the paper
  • The names of the authors
  • The full postal and email addresses of all the authors
  • Affiliation details for each author (job title, institution, city, country)
  • A brief biographical note for each author (around 100 words)
  • One author should be indicated as “Corresponding author”. He/she will be notified of the selection outcome after submission of the manuscript to an anonymous peer review process, and if the paper is selected.

Complete instructions for authors can be found at the publisher’s website:

The deadline for submissions is November 7, 2016. For inquiries, please contact Graciela Tonon


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