Kara, Okan, and Teoman Pamukcu (2011). "Innovation Capability for Development: An attempt to apply Amartya Sen's Capability Approach to Innovation Studies" Paper presented at the 8th annual conference of the HDCA, 6-8 September 2011, the Hague, the Netherlands.

This study aims to contribute to Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach by applying it to innovation studies. It hypothesis freedom to innovate (i.e. innovation capability) as an instrumental freedom, that is essential to people to bring change to their own lives. A broad definition of innovation is applied –which covers all types of search and improvement efforts. Two extensions are brought to Sen’s original approach for its application to innovation studies: (1) Characterizing innovation as a collective capability and the (2) Introduction of evolutionary economics as the explanation theory. The selection of the evolutionary theory is the reflection of the claim that two main components of the capability approach, namely the ‘choice mechanism’ and the ‘opportunity expansion’ are generally neglected in the mainstream development discourse. Both components are examined to extend the innovation capability theorization. Finally an emerging opportunity mechanism (tapping into global knowledge flow) and its potential effects on the functioning and its components will be examined theoretically.