Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach / Edition 1

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Overview

Proposing a new kind of feminism that is genuinely international, Martha Nussbaum argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. In this book, Nussbaum argues that international political and economic thought must be sensitive to gender difference as a problem of justice, and that feminist thought must begin to focus on the problems of women in the third world. Taking as her point of departure the predicament of poor women in India, she shows how philosophy should undergird basic constitutional principles that should be respected and implemented by all governments, and used as a comparative measure of quality of life across nations. Nussbaum concludes by calling for a new international focus to feminism, and shows through concrete detail how philosophical arguments about justice really do connect with the practical concerns of public policy. HB ISBN (2000): 0-521-66086-6

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Women and Human Development is an important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas." New York Times Book Review

"Women and Human Development is an important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas...eloquent." The New York Times Book Review

"Philosophically ambitious, politically daring and morally insistent, Women and Human Development hopes to shake the complacent reader into realising just how dire the conditions are under which so many women around the world try to live, work and love." London Review of Books

"Theological ethicists who believe that feminist global ethics need not be culturally relativist nor committed to a kind of abstraction that 'turns the mind away from reality' should find in Women and Human Development a stimulating argument that attends to both experience and philosophical grounding yet is open to the significant contributions of religious traditions and their scriptural interpretations. This book should stimulate interest among generalists as well as professional ethicists and scholars in philosophy and religious studies." Religious Studies Review

"This is a must-read book for international development specialists, and will greatly reward others willing to invest some effort and thought in it." Choice

"A powerfully argued proposal for a turn to 'quality of life' as privileged criterion in discerning just distribution and access to social and material goods in civil society. A vital text for studies in development, economic ethics, feminist ethics, theories of justice, human rights, women's studies." Center for Women and Religion

"This book is an important contribution to the increasing dialogue between Western and Third World feminists, and should be read by anyone interested in international development." Susan Okin, Stanford University

"The ringing defences of universalism, liberalism and human rights in the early chapters of Sex and Social Justice [Nussbaum; Oxford University Press] are expanded and revised in Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach." The London Review of Books

"I found myself caught up in Nussbaum's arguments, and when I taught Women and Human Development to a seminar filled with antiliberal graduate students, this book gave them a terrific challenge.... Even those who strongly disagree with liberalism and are strong supporters of cultural diversity and relativism will be forced to confront the questions Nussbaum raises and to think critically about these issues. Political philosophers can ask for nothing more." American Political Science Review

"Theological ethicists who believe that feminist global ethics need not be culturally relativist nor committed to a kind of abstraction that 'turns the mind away from reality' should find in Women and Human Development a stimulating argument that attends to both experience and philosophical grounding yet is open to the significant contributions of religious traditions and their scriptural interpretations. This book should stimulate interest among generalists as well as professional ethicists and scholars in philosophy and religious studies." Religious Studies Review

Ellen Willis
An important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas.
New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521003858
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Series: Seeley Lectures Series , #3
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Sales rank: 1,436,207
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Preface; Introduction; Feminism and international development; 1. In defense of universal values; 2. Adaptive preferences and women's options; 3. The role of religion; 4. Love, care, and dignity.

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