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Reader, Soran. Does a Basic Needs Approach Require Capabilities?
2006, Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (3):337–350
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Abstract:

In this article I consider criticisms of the basic needs approach (BNA) made by capability theorists, and argue that BNA can meet them all. I conclude that BNA has been unfairlycriticised and too hastily displaced by the capability approach (CA). This raises a further question: whatshould be done? My hope is that defenders of BNA will be encouraged to revivetheir approach by these arguments, and that defenders of CA will be encouragedto reconsider and modify or withdraw their criticisms.

Comment: This essay engages critically with the capabilities approach to social justice and development, advocated for by thinkers such as Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, Sabina Alkire and others. Reader challenges the shift away from a basic needs approach, which instead focuses on identifying a set of (somewhat) universal basic needs, and then designing political systems to deliver those needs. The text would therefore provide a interesting counter reading to works by Sen, Nussbuam, Alkire, et. al., as the more mainstream cannon on international development, and would be useful in the context of a class on the social justice philosophy and cosmopolitanism, as well as in classes on political philosophy more generally. Alternately, it could, on its own, provide an introduction to both the capabilities and basic needs approaches, as it offers a brief exploration of what each view entails and considers both the merits and drawbacks of each.

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Venkatapuram, Sridhar. Health Justice. An Argument from the Capabilities Approach
2011, Polity Press.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Sridhar Venkatapuram
Summary: Social factors have a powerful influence on human health and longevity. Yet the social dimensions of health are often obscured in public discussions due to the overwhelming focus in health policy on medical care, individual-level risk factor research, and changing individual behaviours. Likewise, in philosophical approaches to health and social justice, the debates have largely focused on rationing problems in health care and on personal responsibility. However, a range of events over the past two decades such as the study of modern famines, the global experience of HIV/AIDS, the international women’s health movement, and the flourishing of social epidemiological research have drawn attention to the robust relationship between health and broad social arrangements.

Comment: This text is considered to be one of the core text of the areas of health justice. theories of social justice applied to health and health inequalities. It extends the capabilities approach to health, and makes an argument for moral right to health capability.

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