Episode 1: A world in motion Part 4 – Capabilities

By Haroon Akram-Lodhi

The world is rapidly changing, but in ways that many of us fail to understand. For many, things are bad. For many, things are getting better. So we need to understand how the world can both be bad and getting better at the same time, and what this means for our understanding of social change and development.

How can we understand social change and development? One way is by seeing it as the capability of people to seek to achieve the live to which they aspire. This is called capabilities, and an enlargement of capabilities has been called central to the enlargement of human freedoms by Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen.