By Lawrence Hamilton
Professor of Political Studies at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and the SARChl/Newton Research Professor in Political Theory, University of Cambridge and Wits
Amartya Sen is one of the world’s best-known voices for the poor, the destitute and downtrodden and an inspiration for policymakers and activists across the globe. He has also contributed almost without peer to the study of economics, philosophy and politics, transforming social choice theory, development economics, ethics, political philosophy and Indian political economy, to list but a few.
This book offers a much-needed introduction to Amartya Sen’s extraordinary variety of ideas. Lawrence Hamilton provides an excellent, accessible guide to the full range of Sen’s writings, contextualising his ideas and summarising the associated debates. In elegant prose, Hamilton reconstructs Sen’s critiques of the major philosophies of his time, assesses his now famous concern for capabilities as an alternative for thinking about poverty, inequality, gender discrimination, development, democracy and justice, and unearths some overlooked gems. Throughout, these major theoretical and philosophical achievements are subjected to rigorous scrutiny.
Amartya Sen is a major work on one the most influential economists and philosophers of the last couple of centuries. It will be invaluable to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences and an excellent guide to policy makers, legislators and global activists.