Kleine, D. (2013) Using the Choice Framework to Situate Cases of Collective Action in Capabilities Thinking: The Example of Public Procurement, Maitreyee - e-bulletin of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA), June 2013, 15-18

As this issue of Maitreyee aptly shows, there is an ongoing debate how notions of collectivity, collective action, or even collective capabilities might successfully be incorporated in capabilities thinking. Amartya Sen’s (1999) formulation of the capability approach, whilst being recognised as one of the most important contributions to development theory in decades, has been described as being, amongst other things, a) a challenge to operationalize and b) not entirely clear on how individual and collective actions can lead to an expansion of capabilities. This short piece offers the choice framework as a tool to operationalize the capabilities approach, and then applies it to public procurement, which is read as an expression of collective choice. The choice framework is explained more fully in my book Technologies of Choice? ICTs, development and the capabilities approach (MIT Press 2013).