Entitlements, capabilities and crisis in the United Kingdom

Hartworth, C., Convery, Ian ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2527-5660 and Richards, C. (2020) Entitlements, capabilities and crisis in the United Kingdom. Journal of Applied Social Science, 14 (1). pp. 40-54.

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This paper examines if Amartya Sen’s entitlements and capabilities theories can be transferred in their application from Low Income Countries (LIC) to High Income Countries (HIC), specifically in Cumbria, northern England. Originally used to understand the causes of famine, these theories have previously been used in several different geographical contexts to broadly understand poverty and inequality but almost entirely in LICs. This paper applies the theories to a United Kingdom context in an attempt to understand the causes of poverty and inequality amongst people experiencing ‘livelihood crisis’. The research uses data from two non-governmental social welfare projects to examine the causes of crisis and the remedial effects of the intervention. Our findings indicate that these theories can help to explain how people find themselves in crisis in Cumbria. On a broader level, they can also be used to explain poverty, inequality and disadvantage in communities in the UK. The authors put forward that entitlements and capabilities theories provide a useful framework to advance the policy and political debate on the causes of poverty by providing a straightforward language and broad application. Entitlement and capabilities theories can also assist social welfare programmes in framing their aims and objectives and through improved understanding about the causes of inequality, will be better able to help people out of disadvantage by strengthening entitlements and building capabilities, without the necessity of large-scale investment.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Applied Social Science
Publisher: SAGE Publications for Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
ISSN: 1937-0245
Departments: Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2019 14:34
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:31
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5145


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