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International Conference on the Capability Approach:
Enhancing Human Security
5-7 September 2004 University of Pavia, Italy
5-7 September 2004 University of Pavia, Italy
Call for Papers
The Capability Association, in collaboration with the Interdepartmental Centre for Social Philosophy and the European School for Advanced Studies in Cooperation and Development (University of Pavia), the Global Equity Initiative (Harvard University), the Capability and Sustainability Centre (University of Cambridge), the Centre of Economics and Ethics for Environment and Development (University of Versailles) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada) invites researchers from all disciplines to submit papers on issues addressed by the capability approach.
This conference series draws together economists, philosophers, political scientists, development experts, graduate students, and policy makers who are developing and actively applying the capability approach to human development developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. At the 2004 Conference, we will also launch the Capability Association intended to serve as an ongoing forum for intellectual innovation communication and collaboration dealing with human development and the capability approach. We hope that all scholars whose research is extending the capability approach will attend and enjoy this occasion together in the lovely setting of Pavia, Italy.
We are seeking high quality research papers that explicitly carry forward some of the signal insights of the capability approach. Papers which are critical of the capability approach are equally welcome. While the papers may come from any discipline and may be theoretical, applied, or policy'-based, every paper must fundamentally engage with, apply, extend, or criticize the capability approach.
Sessions are usually grouped into topics such as:
- philosophical and ethical foundations,
- issues in operationalizing the capability approach
- capability measurement and empirical analysis,
- public debate and democratic practice
- poverty and inequality
However we will adjust the categories according to the best papers received so if you are engaged in important research using the capability approach with respect to another topic please submit it.
This year the special theme of the conference is Enhancing Human Security. Participants are thus also invited to submit papers that explore the insights the capability approach can bring to key human insecurities in the XXI century. Topics include:
1. Human security in an historical perspective Human security aims to protect vital freedoms and thus protect people from violence as well as deprivation. In this section we invite papers to trace the evolution of extended concepts of security (which include social and ecosystems dimensions) in different regions and contexts, and also papers that explore the extent to which the capability approach provides an adequate space in which to evaluate human security.
2. Militarization and human capabilities - In investing considerable national resources in domestic and international security infrastructure, some countries have thereby altered the configuration of capabilities open to citizens and neighbours. For example in protecting themselves from extremist groups, some countries have contacted people's ability to enjoy human rights, and the freedom of movement. Papers that discuss the complexities of these trade-offs are welcome.
3. Violence and bodily integrity - Human security is impossible if people are confronted with violence and threats to bodily integrity. Women and children are often especially vulnerable to those threats, as are ethnic and racial minorities in severely divided societies. Violence not only affects a person's capability of bodily integrity and safety, but also has devastating effects on emotional capabilities. We invite papers that analyse violence against vulnerable groups from a capability perspective.
4. Food insecurity and capability deprivation Hunger is one of the most dramatic insecurities and one that remains an urgent issue for over one in eight human beings. It is important to explore the different causes of hunger and the political levers that lead most effectively to the reduction of chronic malnutrition and food insecurity, as well as of famine. We invite papers that provide novel and innovative analyses of food insecurity and hunger from a capability perspective.
5. Health and capability deprivation - Catastrophic accident, disability and illness rank among the primary worries of people across the globe. Poor persons may not have health insurance or affordable prescriptions, thus medical attention may exact a heavy burden taking children out of school; decreasing family nutrition or be out of reach. In most violent conflicts more people perish of ill health than in battle. We invite papers that analyse health epidemics and emergencies from a capability perspective. By what criteria should policy choices that deeply affect people's capability sets such as those related to antiretrovirals be made?
6. Basic capabilities and Social Security in affluent societies - Many post-industrialised societies are currently rethinking their welfare states. We invite papers that analyse social policies and social security systems from a capability perspective. Do these new social security systems enhance the capabilities of all people equally? Do they prioritise some capabilities over others? Is there an awareness of the effects of social policy changes on people's capabilities, or is the design and evaluation of these policies only done in financial terms?
The conference will consist of:
1. pre-conference training sessions for scholars and graduate students who want to review the basic concepts of the capability approach or of human security and learn about major advances related to the capability approach.
2. parallel sessions where full academic papers will be presented and discussed. Some sessions could also include brief (5 minute) presentations.
3. special sessions for PhD students will be arranged with some senior scholar or keynote speaker related to their research topic.
4. plenary sessions with keynote speakers that address the major themes of the conference.
On the basis of the number and nature of submitted proposal, lunch poster sessions could also be organized.
The deadline for submission of paper proposals is April 1st 2004 and full papers will be due on August 1st 2004. The papers will be selected by the Conference Committee. Notice of acceptance of papers will be sent by early May 2004.
We are planning to restrict the number of papers selected and to introduce discussants in some sessions. Please, keep this in mind and consider the August deadline to be firm: papers that are not received by this date will be rejected or put in the poster session.
For submitting proposals please use the enclosed application form that should be sent to Enrica Chiappero Martinetti by email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
There will be a conference fee of around 200 euros that includes the conference registration, plus all meals and social events. There will be a limited number of fee reductions for students and scholars from LDC's. People who wish to be considered for financial assistance should fill out the relevant section of the application form, and will be required to submit their papers by 1 July 2004. Accommodation in College rooms and hotels, charged separately from conference fees, will be available.
More detailed information about the conference, as well as accommodation booking forms, will be posted on this web site after the 1st of May. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Conference Committee
Arun Abraham, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Sabina Alkire, Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University, USA
Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, University of Pavia, Italy
Flavio Comim, Capability and Sustainability Centre, St. Edmund's College, Cambridge, UK
Jean-Luc Dubois, Centre d'Economie et d'Ethique pour l'Environnement et le Développement, Université de Versailles, France
Anantha K. Duraiappah, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, Canada
Mozaffar Qizilbash, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Ingrid Robeyns, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Columbia University, USA (visiting 2004)
For any further communication please contact:
Enrica Chiappero Martinetti
Department of Public Economics - University of Pavia
Strada Nuova 65 27100 Pavia (Italy)
Ph. 0039-0382-504354 - Fax 0039-0382-504402 - Email: email@example.com
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