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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Introductory reading list

This introductory bibliography lists briefings, books and articles that provide a good overview of and introduction to the human development and capability approach.

HDCA introductory briefings

  • Ingrid Robeyns (2018), Wellbeing, Freedom and Social Justice: The Capability Approach Re-Examined, Open access: download the pdf
  • Frances Stewart, Gustav Ranis and Emma Samman (2018), Advancing Human Development: Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press.
  • Martha Nussbaum (2011), Creating Capabilities; The Human Development Approach. Harvard University Press.
  • Séverine Deneulin with Lila Shahani (eds) (2009), An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach, available online at
  • Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Shiv Kumar (eds) (2009), Handbook in Human Development, Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Amartya Sen (2009), The Idea of Justice, London: Allen Lane
  • Sabina Alkire (2002), Valuing Freedoms, Oxford University Press
  • Martha Nussbaum (2000), Women and Human Development, Cambridge University Press
  • Amartya Sen (1999), Development as Freedom, Oxford University Press
  • Amartya Sen (1992), Inequality Re-examined, Oxford University Press
Introductory articles
  • Ingrid Robeyns  (2011), "The Capability Approach", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
  • Ingrid Robeyns (2005), "The Capability Approach: A Theoretical Survey", Journal of Human Development 6(1): 93–114.
  • Sabina Alkire (2005), "Why the Capability Approach", Journal of Human Development 6(1): 115–33.
  • Martha Nussbaum (2003) "Capabilities as Fundamental Entitlements: Sen and Social Justice", Feminist Economics 9 (2–3): 33–59.
  • Sabina Alkire (2002), "Dimensions of Human Development", World Development 30 (2), 181–205.
  • Amartya Sen (1993)," Capability and Well-Being", in M. Nussbaum and A. Sen (eds.) The Quality of Life, Oxford Clarendon Press, pp. 30–53.
  • Martha Nussbaum (1993), "Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach", in M. Nussbaum and A. Sen (eds) The Quality of Life, Oxford Clarendon Press, pp. 242–69.
  • Amartya Sen (1989), "Development as Capability Expansion", Journal of Development Planning 19: 41–58, reprinted in: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and A.K. Shiva Kumar (eds.) (2003), Readings in Human Development, Oxford University Press, pp. 3–16
  • Amartya Sen (1988), "The Concept of Development", in Behram and Strinivasan (eds.) Handbooks of Development Economics. Vol. 1. Elsevier: North-Holland, pp. 3–23.
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