Dubois, Jean-Luc M. (2017). 'Collective capabilities for Social Change and Resilience in front of Horizontal Inequalities' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Cape Town 2017.



Inequalities, particularly within countries inequalities, are increasing in the world.

Among these inequalities, the horizontal ones are generating qualitative discrimination and are more exclusive than those quantitative related to income. This is particularly true for some specific categories of people.

Some of these inequalities are based on traditional representation, like for instance gender inequalities, and they require appropriate measure to change the current situation (paper 1).

Others are emerging under the neo-liberal policies and the revolution of information technologies, generating new form of exclusion among the poor and the vulnerable (paper 2).

All inequalities, whether vertical or horizontal, make the people feel more insecure and vulnerable.

They require social changes and the search for adequate political solutions, which can be brought up through public and collective action at various socio-economic levels. For instance, the reinforcement of people‘s individual and collective capabilities, through human development, the promotion of empowerment to generate solidarity-based initiatives through collective agency, adequate measures for the recognition and valuation of women’s domestic work, etc.. All these instances contribute to develop the resilience of the people, i.e. their capability of qualitative rebound and their collective agency to engage into a process of resilience able to overcome adversity and conflict.

Keywords: Horizontal inequalities, Collective Capabilities, Collective agency, Social policies, Resilience


Ballet J., D. Bazin, J.-L. Dubois and F.-R. Mahieu, 2013, Freedom, Responsibility and Economics of the Person, Routledge, London, 171 p.

Crocker D.A., 2008, Ethics of Global Development. Agency, Capability, and Deliberative Democracy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Ibrahim S., 2006, “From Individual to Collective Capabilities: The Capability Approach as Conceptual Framework for Self-help”, Journal of Human Development, Vol. 7 No. 3, p.397-416.

Stewart F., 2010, "Horizontal inequalities as a cause of conflict: A review of CRISE Findings", Background Paper, World Development Report 2011.

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