Muñiz Castillo, Mirtha Rosaura (2009). "Autonomy as a foundation for human development: A conceptual model to study individual autonomy" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

This paper presents a conceptual model of autonomy grounded in the theories of human needs and capabilities. The analysis suggests that autonomy can be considered a human need that requires satisfiers to secure a sufficient level of competence to effectively participate in social life, and a combined capability to make choices in significant matters and achieve positive results in one’s life. The model allows analysing individual experiences of autonomy, through attention to three determinants of autonomy: agency as an internal capacity, entitlements, and structural contexts. It highlights the relations of individuals that negotiate their entitlements and options in specific contexts. Personal and contextual, subjective and objective factors explain people’s conditions for and their feeling of being autonomous. The paper also discusses the relation between human development and autonomy and asserts that initiatives that aim at fostering human development should promote the expansion of individual autonomy and empowerment.