Contesting Paradigms in Society’s Poverty Alleviation and Development Arena

Theoretical Debates on Agency

in Theoria
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  • 1 University of KwaZulu-Natal sage1_ugoh@yahoo.com
  • 2 University of KwaZulu-Natal mtshalik@ukzn.ac.za
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Abstract

In contemporary development and political studies the Capability Approach as proposed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum has become an alternative analytical framework used to conceptualise the promotion of well-being (‘capabilities’) in society. Notably, an important component of this framework is agency, which underscores the various ‘transformation mechanisms’ towards realising well-being in societies. This study straddles the area of political theory and development studies and seeks to contribute to the literature on the Capability Approach from a fresh perspective of the contest for agency between the different political stakeholders in society’s development arena. The study interrogates the agency roles of different stakeholders in society’s development focusing on the liberal-communitarian and the state-in-society debates on the politics of state from the perspective of the Capability Approach.

Contributor Notes

Sunday Paul Chinazo Onwuegbuchulam is a researcher and lecturer affiliated to the International and Public Affairs Cluster, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Sunday has written on African philosophy, conflict transformation and peacebuilding, political science, and practical theology. E-mail: sage1_ugoh@yahoo.com

Khondlo Mtshali is a lecturer in the Cluster of International and Public Affairs, School of Social Sciences, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Khondlo has written on African literature, African political philosophy, African literature and existential psychology, and language and social transformation. E-mail: mtshalik@ukzn.ac.za

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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