Development as Freedom

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Tammam Omer PSIR 502 Comparative Political Development Development as Freedom – Sen, Amartya p.3-11
“Development as Freedom” by the economist Amartya Sen mainly focuses on the development and the factors that are related with it. In this book, Sen explores the relationship between freedom and development, as freedom is a basic component of development and it’s a key to other aspects. In the Introduction, Sen states that freedom on one hand depends on many determinations: social and economic arrangements, industrialization, technological process, and social modernization. To help individuals to have more freedom, two factors can play an important role: the growth of GNP and higher personal incomes. It is clear that the economic status is very essential to the freedom of individual. On the other hand, development requires the removal of major sources of unfreedom: poverty, tyranny, poor economic opportunities, intolerance, overactivity of repressive states, neglect of public facilities, etc. Therefore, the presence of freedom in any society provides a rich base for development, and at the same time increases the levels of political, social, technological, and economic development. In the “Effectiveness and Interconnections” section, Sen mentions that freedom is central to the process of development for two distinct reasons: 1. The evaluation reason: assessment of progress has to be done in terms of whether the freedoms that people have are enhanced. 2. The effectiveness reason: achievement of development is dependent on the free agency of people. These two reasons represent a linkage or connection among the different kinds of freedoms, and from here the idea of “Development as Freedom” has been derived. Not only freedom affects the development, but also markets play a great role in the process of development. As Adam smith noted, “Freedom of exchange and transaction is itself part and parcel of the basic...
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