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Capabilities and Human Development: the critical role of social institutions and social competencies Frances Stewart.

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Presentation on theme: "Capabilities and Human Development: the critical role of social institutions and social competencies Frances Stewart."— Presentation transcript:

1 Capabilities and Human Development: the critical role of social institutions and social competencies Frances Stewart

2 Introduction Individuals cannot flourish or even function alone. Families/neighbourhoods/society essential for survival and flourishing. Yet ca and HD approaches primarily focus on individual What is role of collective entities? How can social institutions be incorporated into CA/HD? what is a process of enlarging people’s choices 2

3 CA and HD approaches CA (Sen ad Nussbaum) – aim of development is to expand individuals’ capabilities (what they can be or do). CA difficult to measure. HD concerned with expansion of individual choice: – ‘Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices’ – In practice focus on functionings [what people are or do] rather than ca because of measurement issues. – But still the individual is focus. ‘Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices. 3

4 Where does ‘social’ fit in Etzioni: a ‘basic observation of sociology and psychology is that the individual and the community ‘penetrate’ one another, and that individuals are not able to function without deep links to others’. How can social be integrated into ca approach? 3 stage analysis: – 1. Where the social enters: a description – 2. Some analysis – 3. implications for HD: research; data; policy. 4

5 Brief definitions Social institutions defined as all collective institutions, excluding market ones (includes state at each level; communities; NGOs…) Main concern here with non-state social institutions. Following North, institutions include organisations and norms Social competencies are what such institutions can do or be 5

6 Why essential for HD Social institutions have direct impact on HD outcomes: Actually deliver essential services etc. Norms of behaviour affect HD outcomes. Social institutions affect power which affects market outcomes; and state policies and implementation. 6

7 Requirements for human flourishing: or critical CA Surveys of – Range of philosophers (Rawls; Finnis, Boyle et al; Nussbaum) – Basic needs theorists (Doyal and Gough) – Focus groups with poor people (Narayan-Parker) – Surveys of opinion (Camfield). Result in 9 basic categories: bodily wellbeing; material wwell being; mental development; work; security; social relations; spiritual wellbeing; empowerment and political freedom; respects for species and environment. For each social institutions one essential influence 7

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9 Critical role of norms Social norms include ‘moral’ commandments and non-ethical conventions. Norms affect behaviour and HD outcomes as shown in Table. And sometimes social institutions constrain individual choices (children; women especially). Part of poverty trap (e.g. early marriage; dowery; discrimination against women). Norms and education: sending children to schools (girls and boys); support for learning at home. Norms and health: use of bednets; hand washing; smoking 9

10 Formation of Norms How do norms come about? Some rules state legislated. Many informal conventions: outcome of numerous informal interactions among agents in a society. Societal dynamic, influenced by history, religion, education, state, social interactions. V. complex and insufficiently studied. Huge variation in richness and competencies of social institutions across societies. Yet almost never catalogued. Particularly norms. 10

11 Norms and autonomy Norms and institutions limit individual autonomy. – norms are internalised so individuals are not truly autonomous but preferences and choices partly the outcome of social norms. – Cannot assume autonomous individuals because ‘Individual and the community penetrate on another’ – Then who is best judge of individual decisions? 11

12 Dilemma posed by mutual penetration of social institutions and individual for CA/HD approach For HD-promotion must recognise that social institutions affect choices and behaviour. Nature of social norms and institutions become critical aspect of HD. Need to support HD-promoting and avoid HD-destroying norms. Yet who decides what is HD-promoting, given non- autonomy of individual? No simple answers: state should not decide. 12

13 Approaches to identifying HD, independently of individual choices Nussbaum: overlapping consensus Vizard: internationally agreed Human Rights Common denominator of philosophical enquiries? (as Table). 13

14 Are social competencies always HD- promoting? Clearly not: so ‘good’ and ‘bad’ social institutions and competencies. Big issue: how to differentiate; and encourage good, discourage bad. 14

15 Aggregate societal features Table shows how each individual category is affected by social institutions. Can we identify general features of social institutions at different levels which are supportive of good CA outcomes? (including society; community; family). Note: societal features may affect different CA differently. Rather low correlation among different dimension (Ranis, Stewart, Samman 2006). Trade-offs possible: e.g. material well being versus spiritual; material versus environment… 15

16 Macro level assessment -- aggregate social dimensions of a society. Might be many hD-promoting social institutions, yet not satisfactory society at macro-level: – Dysfunctional families (living alone; or oppressive families); – Relations across cultures limited: ‘silo’ society. – Hierarchical society, little contact across levels – Stratified society: little social mobility. All relevant to aggregate social assessment. 16

17 2. Social institutions and power State not autonomous and ‘platonic’. Decisions outcome of political pressures. Policy change depends on political struggle. Individuals alone are powerless; only acquire power by forming social institutions: Market conditions also influenced by formation of groups. At: – Micro-level – Meso-level – Macro-level 17

18 Micro level: importance of collective organisations Sex-workers in Calcutta: fragmented, exploited and weak group came together into group and improved material conditions and self-respect (Gooptu). Squatter Women in Capetown (Crossroads) formed group and successfully challenged state- evictions, contributed to overthrow of apartheid. Scavengers’ organisation into coops greatly improved conditions - Colombia earned 1.5 of minimum wage. 18

19 Meso-level: Political movements Orang Asli in Malaysia formed Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Association from 18 groups to protect culture and improve state treatment Luhya in Kenya became political force through formation of single organisation (the Luhya Elders Forum) Rural indigenous people in Peru – some areas organised collectively to promote security and improve conditions; other areas with no organisation penetrated by Shining Path. But all weak because of weak local state to negotiate with. Brazil landless workers movt. Took over millions of acres, built schools etc. 19

20 Macro-level: need for strong collective institutions to promote change (Polanyi) India: NREG, following mass campaign Venezuela: workers and peasants movt. supported Chavez leading to land reforms, improved terms with oil cos, and improved income distribution. Similar in Brazil workers and peasants movts put Lula in power: raised min wage; increased transfers; improved eudc.; income distribution improved. Bolivia; Morales: new constitution giving more power to indigenous people; state control over natural resources; pensions; education; land reforms. 20

21 Social institutions not always HD-promoting Mobilisation for violence and criminality Collective institutions of elite can undermine conditions of the poor: – Lobbies against taxation; against worker associations – Landlords associations to evict tenants or worsen conditions Norms encouraging adverse behaviour – Smoking; drinking; 21

22 Summary: Relationship between social institutions/competencies and individual outcomes 1. Huge instrumental importance of social institutions for individual ca.: 1.Directly via production and behaviour 2.Via changing terms of producers 3.Via political choices 2.Institutions/ norms affect individual choices among and between valuable and non valuable ca. 3.Some aspects affect individuals yet concern relationships among individuals, and cannot be assessed by looking at individuals alone (relational like social cohesion), though whether social cohesion is desirable depends on how it affects individuals. 22

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24 Major conclusion: Assessment of CA/HD of a society must include assessment of social institutions and competencies: – Because affects production of individual CA – Because influences nature of individual choices – individuals not independent of social institutions; – Because societal relationships important as well as individual outcomes 24

25 3. Measuring social institutions and competencies at a country level – 4 approaches 1.Cataloguing of social institutions and norms 2.Measure of social interactions 3.Measure of social inclusion/HIs 4.Assessments of societal outcomes. 25

26 Measures at aggregate level: 1. Social cohesion Social interactions across cultural and economic groups (no silo society; nor hierarchical; nor stratified). Possible measures: – Socialising across groups – Marrying – Joint membership of social institutions – Trust in others, across groups – Social mobility 26

27 2. Social inclusion Where no group(s) suffer multiple disadvantages. Low HIs Lack of social inclusion or HIs generally imply lack of social cohesion 27

28 3. Outcome measures – Homicide rate – Criminality – Single parent families – Abandoned children – Suicide rate – Deaths in armed combat. But some may also be measures of freedom; and product of reporting. 28

29 Implications for CA/HD approaches 1. Analysis: beyond individual (and beyond state and market) to: – Formation and impact of groups/social institutions – Incentives and constraints on collective action – Role of norms – How norms are formed – Relationship with political economy – Interactions among individuals and groups 29

30 2. Empirical work To identify social institutions associated with improved HD. Catalogue social institutions and identify conditions that lead to good institutions Explore relationship between indicators of social cohesion and societal outcomes. 30

31 3. Policy To promote HD-promoting social institutions/norms Facilitate empowering institutions Promote socially cohesive outcomes Reduce inequalities. 31

32 4. Measurement and Assessment Very little done to date. Should complement economic and political assessment of societies with social assessments. Note preliminary research shows social performance not correlated with economic nor political. 32

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