POVERTY AND FAMINES AMARTYA SEN PDF
Sen, Amartya. Poverty and famines. /. Famines. /. Title. HC7Q.F3 ISBN The responsibility for opinions expressed in signed. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation by Amartya Sen An Opinion On Merits And Demerits Of Entitlement Approach This book focuses. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Amartya Sen. Abstract. The main focus of this book is on the causation of starvation in general.
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Request PDF on ResearchGate | Poverty and Famines. | Review of book on reappraising the role of famine relief through case studies of past Amartya Sen. A closer look at Poverty and Famine might make us think differently. Amartya Sen's entitlement approach (EA) to famine analysis is probably one of the most. landholdings (defined in terms of LFU). He then goes on to show that the introduction of HYV increased disparities between households largely because of their.
The author seems to be very much aware of this e. The case studies chosen are of widely different nature and lend credit to his work. He goes about justifying the entitlement approach both in times of low food availability and adequate food availability.
Since rural workers were as a community affected the most, exchange entitlement could have been a reason. The 'class-basis of destitution' further corroborates the food entitlement approach. The causes of sharp movements of exchange entitlements in this case can be briefed as- 1. Printing of currency leading to inflationary pressures 2. Speculation and Hoarding A typical Keynesian! Prohibition of cereal export 5.
An uneven expansion of income and purchasing power 6. Impoverishment of groups not directly related to food production He further examines the bad policy of Bengal govt. The policy was largely FAD approach based and believed in merely creating supplies of food in the affected region, which, obviously, did not help much. The critics have strongly challenged the validity of Famine Commission report Sen too is aware of that and actually contend that crop availability was less than that reported a large upward bias.
This hits at the root of his analysis as he works on the initial analysis that there was actually a rise in food available. Also, the critics lay claim to inefficiency of PDS used to funnel the food into Bengal. To quote- " They further proved that the inflation was pretty much the same throughout India. So why this should have only hit Bengal. Sen has neglected the infrastructural breakdown.
The Ethiopian Famine, again, according to him proved the validity of entitlement approach, as there was little price rise of commodities. But in Sahel famine decrease in food availability was the causal factor. Sen analysed region wise food output to declare that the effect of famine was actually lower in food deprived areas.
The approach of Sen seems to be of a short-term nature but does, indeed, subtly propose a long-term vision too. The focus of govt. He advocates govt.
The critics who oppose the above may please note that that at no time does he propose to completely eliminate the FAD approach. Rather, in opening lines of Chapter I he says- "Starvation is characteristic of some people not having enough to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough to eat.
While the latter can be a cause of the former, it is but one of many possible causes". Conceptualisation of poverty from a monetary perspective continues to have a preferred status compared to non-monetary perspectives, not only for technical reasons but also because of its supposed objectivity on account of assumptions about its tangible, quantifiable and universal nature.
Limitations to this approach are noted in Laderchi et al. Differing metabolic rates, activities, size, gender and age among people mean that what is adequate varies among them.
It fails to factor in lived experiences and non-income, social and political aspects of poverty. Some non-monetary indicators for well-being that may play a role in poverty situations as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals , include: education i.
Even with no consensus on how to define and measure poverty, Fakuda-Parr rightly observes that there is a broad recognition that the income perspective is too narrow to capture the complexity of poverty as a life experience of people. A monetary approach to poverty identifies those who live below the poverty line as poor. A social exclusion SE approach to poverty Social exclusion implies marginalisation and relegation away from the main social arrangements within a given community, including its entitlements and opportunities, ordinarily as a consequence of poverty or on account of being an insignificant other.
The effectiveness of social exclusion as a concept is the support that it lends to the importance of social relationships, especially in resource distribution, control and usage. A social exclusion approach to poverty, according to Laderchi et al. It allows for an analysis on the dynamics and processes that breed and sustain deprivation. Social exclusion implies the exclusion to the rights of citizenship. It is directly interconnected with the existence of discriminatory forces, such as racism, and the outcome of market failures and unenforced rights.
The approach allows for a study of 'structural characteristics' of a society, including conditions of marginalised peoples, such as the landless and ethnic minorities. As such, attention is directed to 'distributional issues'.
Distribution of opportunities and outcomes becomes crucial on account of awareness that the poor and deprived people may not be able to improve their circumstances in and of themselves. In situations of exclusion, there are 'excluders' and the 'excludees'. The approach attempts to identify these role players Laderchi et al. A social exclusion approach to poverty has its weaknesses. It is further acknowledged in Laderchi, Saith and Stewart , that it is difficult: [T]o identify appropriate norms to provide the benchmarks of exclusion, since exclusion from formal sector employment or social insurance coverage tends to apply to the majority of the population.
Consequently, there is a serious problem in deciding what would be appropriate [social exclusion] characteristics. A further complication is that exclusion, as with the caste system, is part of the social system in some societies. Certainly, failure to possess what the community values or appears to value even for the wrong reasons is still a form of exclusion.
Amartya Sen’s Unequal World
Shame is used by various marketing companies to sell commodities, that is, from mobile phones to fashion labels. A sense of shame does function to persuade a target people to prioritise the opinions of others over their own: [A]utonomous appreciation of usefulness, beauty, pleasure, sufficiency or desire, and thus to censor those needs which, by their singularity - or, for that matter, their conviviality - do not correspond to commodified products.
Bowring Advertising companies can purposely, shrewdly and suggestively market products by infusing a sense of pride, honour and glory to those who purchase or consume their products, and impress a sense of shame and humiliation on those who do not.
So, those who choose not to purchase or consume those products are 'othered' socially excluded. Even teenagers, whose parents may not allow them to own some products, because they may have wanted those products for the wrong reasons, may see themselves as socially excluded among their peers, and develop a sense of humiliation, shame and embarrassment.
An apparent weakness to the SE approach is the lack of a clear distinction between induced social exclusion i.
A social exclusion approach to poverty distinguishes those who are marginalised and powerless socially excluded as living in poverty. Participatory approach PA to poverty A participatory approach to poverty anticipates a dominant role being played by the people themselves regarding assessments on what it means to be poor and the scale of poverty Chambers , The Participatory Poverty Assessment PPA developed out of participatory rural appraisal PRA , 'to enable local people to share, enhance and analyse their knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act' Chambers A participatory approach to poverty arises from and emphasises poor people's ability and capacity to understand and analyse their own experiences and realities.
The approach employs a rather flexible framework and methodology. Therefore: [A] range of tools have been devised, including the use of participatory mapping and modelling, seasonal calendars, wealth and well-being ranking.
The large variety of methods can be used flexibly. Laderchi et al. It must, however, be noted that any so-called community-driven participatory planning, including other initiatives that make claims of full participation and empowerment can turn out to be driven by certain interests i. It has been observed that in some instances, women may not be able to fully, freely and equally participate like other members of a community, with regard to issues of poverty and development.
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Cornwall notes that: The question of who participates and who benefits raises awkward questions for participatory development. The very projects that appear so transformative can turn out to be supportive of a status quo that is highly inequitable for women. Without determinations integrated into a participatory approach to enable peripheral and marginal voices to be raised and heard, any assertions to inclusiveness made on behalf of participatory approach will appear rather hollow.
Ensuring that the poor are consulted is essential and necessary, but insufficient and inadequate. Also, in instances of a participatory arrangement, working with differences that transpire in such situations, requires various skills that may not be present or have been disregarded.
It may require updated skills with regard to issues that concern disagreement, conflict resolution, boldness and assertiveness, for example.
The approach does not declare what poverty is or who the poor are, since such task is left to 'the people' to determine. Some preliminary observations Each approach i. MA, SE, and PA arises from a distinctive outlook on what represents a good life and what a virtuous people look like. Each approach demands practical postulations that are often not apparent in order to conceptualise poverty. On account of the varied dissimilarities in characterisation of what counts as poverty, the people who are seen as poor tend to differ consistently to the approach and the particular processes engaged in each respective approach and each approach would have different implications on a response to poverty.
The MA proposes a solution to poverty that revolves around a generation of economic or financial incomes. It intimates emphasis on growing cash incomes through economic growth, or redistribution. Responding to poverty is about growing production and consequently money incomes for the poor and deprived. The SE has an awareness implied regarding the inability of economic growth alone to once-and-for-all eradicate social exclusion.
The approach gives significance to redistributive measures, and prioritises correction of discrimination of any sorts, including fighting class barriers, or citizenship restrictions.
The approach highlights the need to disrupt exclusionary elements. The PA prioritises and attends to collective group characteristics. On account of the apparent non-existence of correspondence between the different approaches so far discussed, using one approach, in exclusion of the other, comes with serious errors.
What framework, therefore, reflects a concern for a broader characterisation of poverty being constructed in order to aid the fight against poverty? Sen does so in his two approaches, namely, the entitlement approach and capability approach. Sen is a Thomas W. His curriculum vitae notes that he was a senior fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows and a formerly Master, Trinity College at Cambridge England , during the period He is of Indian decent, born on 03 November in Santiniketan, India.
He has obtained a myriad of professional elections and awards right from and has published close to 30 books. His published articles are categorised into 20 major areas Harvard University n.
Sen dedicates his books and articles to the phenomenon of poverty. His interest in alternative poverty measures began in the late s at the University of Cambridge when he began discussing an alternative to the Gross Domestic Product GDP per capita benchmark.
He is known to have pointed out that: 'This dollar-a-day measure doesn't take into account many variations that influence the conversion of income into good living' Morrell of 1. Sen's entitlement approach Sen's entitlement approach sheds light to possible and legitimate rights of ownership within a community on the basis of entitlement relations. Exchange entitlements within the realm of exchange relations envisage the ability to legitimately, fairly and freely exchange what one owns for another set of commodities.
Poverty arises when there is a decline in one's exchange entitlements i. Therefore, poverty is more about inaccessibility and less about unavailability.
Sen's entitlement approach is very helpful in engaging instances of poverty. Entitlements refer to establishment of command 'over some alternative commodity bundles' within a social structure, 'given the prevailing legal, political, and economic arrangements'. The approach sheds light on possible and legitimate rights of ownership within a particular community. Sen includes the following into his list of entitlement relations, namely: Trade-based entitlement: One is entitled to own what one obtains by trading something one owns with a willing party or set of parties.
Production-based entitlement: One is entitled to own what one gets by arranging production using one's owned resources. Own-labour entitlement: One is entitled to one's own labour power, and thus to the trade-based and production-based entitlements related to one's labour power.
Inheritance and transfer entitlements: One is entitled to own what is willingly given by another who legitimately owns it pp. According to Sen , a person can exchange what he or she owns for another collection of commodities through 'trading, or through production, or through a combination of the two'. Therefore, 'exchange entitlement' implies 'the set of all the alternative bundles of commodities that he can acquire in exchange for what he owns'.
The approach is essentially about endowment and entitlement sets. Attention is drawn to the existence of an endowment set that involves ownership that is consistent with conventional rules and practices within a community, including an acknowledgment of ownership of property and ownership of talents and abilities, expertise, labour power, and a belonging to one's community. Attention is also drawn to an entitlement set, which is about an amalgamation of all the conceivable commodities and services that one can legitimately and rightfully acquire, using the resources of one's endowment set.
Attention is equally drawn towards an exchange entitlement or entitlement mapping, which is about a relationship between the endowment set and entitlement set.
Exchange entitlement or entitlement mapping responds to the question of the rate at which available possessions of the endowment set can be converted into commodities and services involved in the entitlement set. One may be exposed to famine, for example, 'if for the ownership that [one] actually has, the exchange entitlement set does not contain any feasible bundle' which could be exchanged or traded for what one needs or does not own.
So, a person's ability to avoid poverty 'would depend both on [one's] ownership and on the exchange entitlement mapping that [one] faces' Sen This approach can help us to approach and conceptualise poverty from a perspective of a decline in one's exchange entitlements.
The implication is that one's exchange entitlements may worsen and be exposed to various forms and levels of poverty for reasons other than a general decline of commodity supply Sen Sen is here saying that poverty is not so much a problem of unavailability, but inaccessibility! Inaccessibility occurs when entitlements are infringed upon and dismantled. In view of the foregone discussion, Sen advances that in analysing poverty, classifying a population into the rich and the poor is unhelpful because such an approach is too undiscriminating.
The lack of discrimination between different circumstances leading to poverty, leads to a lack of focus in policy choice. This involves a direct and unconditional protection of all the entitlements of everyone.
A selection procedure 8 must be adopted to determine the eligibility of different groups of people to public support. This entails the provision of employment for generating compensating income. Some limitations to Sen's entitlement approach have been noted Sen The notion of entitlements is not clearly defined.
The approach also gives little attention to instances where there is transfer of ownership through violent means, that is, looting and loss of ownership on the grounds of, for example, people's habits, apathy, or ignorance. There is also a failure within the approach to situate the human person as located within a nation state, a community and a family. Situating the person within the nation, community and family is key in establishing and protecting any entitlements of any sorts Devereux There is also failure to recognise that poverty can be a result of 'political crises as much as they are economic shocks or natural disasters' Devereux The general challenge of entitlement protection is a multifaceted one that carries with it a network of diverse policy areas.
It includes a refinement of categories of people in order to be able to characterise, nurture and protect their entitlements. Entitlement protection calls for mixed systems that involve the use of diverse instruments for the provision of either direct or indirect support for all vulnerable people groups.
Sen's capability approach Sen's capability approach perceives life as fuller and richer if it offers genuine choices with alternatives. It sees the quality of life in terms of the ability to achieve various combinations of functionings, in terms of what one has reason to value. It gives deliberate attention to the individual person as the basis of capability assessment.
For Sen 'capability is the power to do something' and 'the accountability that emanates from that ability … is a part of the capability perspective'. There are two expressions of capabilities. The one expression is elementary capabilities, involving 'the ability to avoid undernourishment and related morbidity and mortality'.
Sen uses the capability perspective to assess well-being 12 and the freedom to pursue well-being. He argues that one's capabilities are a combination of functionings, that is, beings and doings that a person can achieve.
Capability is 'a set of vectors of functionings, reflecting the person's freedom to lead one type of life or another' Sen A person's well-being is linked, as Sen agues, to his or her capabilities.
AMARTYA SEN Poverty and Famines An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation
The capability to achieve all the alternative combinations of functions a person can choose to have, constitutes that person's freedom the real opportunities to have well-being. This kind of well-being freedom has implications in ethical and political analysis Sen This means that choosing is central to living and a life that offers authentic choices with alternatives is fuller and richer.
Sen advances specific features for the capability approach. He maintains that - Firstly: The capability approach points to an informational focus in judging and comparing overall individual advantages, and does not, on its own, propose any specific formula about how that information may be used. The capability approach focuses on information on individual advantages judged in terms of opportunity.
It draws attention to the relevance of the inequality of capabilities in the assessment of social disparities, without suggesting any specific formula for policy decisions Sen Secondly: The capability perspective is concerned with a plurality of different features of our lives and concerns.
It is concerned with one's ability 'to achieve various combinations of functionings' which one can compare and judge against others in terms of what one has reason to value. It is focused on human life and not just on incomes or commodities that one may be in possession of. Sen's capability approach adds value to an analysis of public action against poverty by expanding attention from means command over commodities, income, food, etc.
The approach calls for the prevention of deprivation of basic capabilities. The approach calls for an expansion of choices and capabilities so that people may lead the kind of lives they value.How is it measured?
According to him, a person can get food to which he is legally or socially entitled.
References Adato, M. Based on his extensive experience in development and poverty reduction, he had devised a large repertoire of theories and teachings that he believes also apply to Latin America and the Caribbean. Exchange entitlement or entitlement mapping responds to the question of the rate at which available possessions of the endowment set can be converted into commodities and services involved in the entitlement set.
He can exc hange his owned entitlements for other entitlements. There are various attempts made towards identification and quantification of poverty. For Sen 'capability is the power to do something' and 'the accountability that emanates from that ability … is a part of the capability perspective'.