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Capabilities and Civil Disobedience: A comparative analysis of The Capability Approach
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates whether Amartya Sen’s or Martha Nussbaum’s version of the capability approach is better suited to justify civil disobedience. The theoretical framework of my study is critical discourse analysis. This aims to establish the most significant conditions for the justification of civil disobedience. An interpretation of the conception of civil disobedience is presented. The investigation assumes that civil disobedience is justified when people advocate for a change in a policy or a law that limits the securing of basic capabilities. A major part of the essay is devoted to clarifying how the idea of basic capabilities relates to civil disobedience. I also emphasize the importance of human dignity as a universal value. I argue that this value is crucial to realizing why some capabilities are more basic than others. I show that Nussbaum is in a better position than Sen to explain when civil disobedience can be justified. This is because Sen lacks a framework of basic capabilities leaving it up to each nation to assess which capabilities ought to be secured.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
capability approach, civil disobedience, basic capabilities, human rights, human dignity, positive liberty
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117885ISRN: LIU-IKK/PF-A-15/001—SEOAI: diva2:811678
Subject / course
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-12 Last updated: 2015-05-13Bibliographically approved

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