Sixteen: What is to be done about capabilitypromoting policies?

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This book has examined how the capability approach provides a politically normative metric for the critical analysis of policies and public policy structures, as well as policy interventions driven by human development or human security concerns. It has demonstrated that existing social structures and institutions play a key role in the realisation of capabilities or the feasibility of human flourishing. This chapter summarises the book’s main arguments and considers new principles and aspirations towards capability-promoting policy. It argues that an alliance with the tradition of critical social science may ‘secure’ the capabilities approach, with its analytic focus on real-world conditions and requirements for renegotiating social justice and creating more capabilities-promoting policies, and vice versa. Capability-promoting policies include emancipatory and democratic strategies that transform unjust structures in order to enhance the agency of individual subjects in terms of human flourishing.

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