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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2Society, Institutions, and Development$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 April 2021

Human Rights and Human Development †

Human Rights and Human Development †

(p.76) Chapter 5 Human Rights and Human Development
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2

Sakiko Fukuda‐Parr

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses Sen's capability approach to explore whether there are inherent contradictions between human rights and development. The ‘human rights based approach’ has gained momentum yet many development practitioners and economists remain skeptical. The chapter reviews diverse critiques of the approach and assesses its application in government policy by reviewing Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers for fifty-five countries. It finds that only a few governments have incorporated the approach in policy priorities and concludes that the obstacles to further implementation do not lie with inherent contradictions between human rights principles and development, but with gaps in practical methods and tools. In particular, the absolutist interpretation of the principle of indivisibility is a major obstacle, and more work is needed to analyse norms of human rights that relate to the duty bearer to promote human rights in development in economic, social, and governance policies.

Keywords:   human rights based approach, poverty, economic rights, social rights, capability approach, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, development cooperation

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