The Capabilities Approach as a Solution to the Need for a More Encompassing Definition of Poverty


This Comment addresses the historical and present manifestations that result from the lack of values reflected in the federal poverty line. An alternative to this measure may be based on the capabilities approach. This approach looks further than simply the means to equality, and instead focuses on the ends--that is achieving well-being, and the freedom to pursue well-being. The capabilities approach is further described through an example of an effort to operationalize the theory by the United National Development Programme. Ultimately, this Comment proposes that renewed attention be focused on reforming the federal poverty line in light of the philosophical groundwork laid by the capabilities approach.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Human Rights Law | Law | Law and Economics | Law and Society | Public Law and Legal Theory

Date of this Version

August 2006