Sen, Culture and Expanding Participatory Capabilities in Northern Ireland

Susan L. Hodgett

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Sen, Culture and Expanding Participatory Capabilities in Northern IrelandSen has suggested that it is a person’s overall freedom which influences their opportunity to have valuable outcomes to their lives, and, that this proves important to the whole society’s development. It is also, a “principal determinant of individual initiative and social effectiveness.” This paper investigates whether Sen’s ideas on human flourishing can assist in explaining the realization of European Structural Policy in Northern Ireland and the implementation of a local Community Infrastructure to support the third sector. The paper explores Sen’s ideas on cultural liberty and cultural captivity in the building of capabilities and functionings. It applies them in the context of Northern Ireland during a time of economic difficulty and civil unrest. The paper outlines how Sen’s theories help illuminate the process of policy evolution on development within this part of the European Union and the application of policy to practice. The article offers some insights into how such international interventions assisted in building the Northern Ireland peace process.Key words: Participatory capabilities, functionings, culture, cultural liberty, cultural captivity, human flourishing, human freedom, participant democracy, quality of life, Europe, European Union, Regional Policy, Structural Funds, Northern Ireland, public policy, human development, agency, Sen, Taylor, hermeneutical frameworks, freedom, modernization, communities, community development, community infrastructure, well-being.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165- 183
    JournalJournal of Human Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 2008


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