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Using a capability inspired approach to construct a reliable framework for analysing policy in the social economy

The aim of this research is to use a capability inspired approach to construct a reliable framework for analysing policy in the social economy. After examining theoretical approaches to explain the emergence of the social economy, and having critiqued the Capability Approach in relation to policy analysis, a literature review is carried out on the development of policy in the social economy in Quebec and Northern Ireland. A case study research design is adopted with regard to policy interventions affecting the social economy, with the aid of illustrations, limited to childcare and housing in both regions. Mapping and document analysis is used and specific policies are interrogated using policy related documents from the 1980s onwards to establish the issues relevant to people subject to those policies. Previous research, analysis, and commentary from various academic, government, and social economy sources are used, as well as communiques, letters, speeches, and input from citizens affected by the policies. An examination of the issues raised in relation to policy development, which affects the social economy, is carried out using Sen's Capability Approach which includes the five instrumental freedoms of political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security which may, if taken into account, increase individual well-being, agency and political participation. From this a Capability Based Framework for analysing policy is developed, incorporating the associated theories of social choice, adaptive preferences, process freedom, agency, internal capabilities, and opportunity freedom. The social economy policies are then examined in relation to the dimensions and questions identified in the framework to establish its effectiveness. It is concluded that the effectiveness of the Capability Based Framework is supported by its ability to highlight issues in policy development, in the social economies examined, in the areas of participation, empowerment, autonomy, recognition, human capacity and equity.
Date January 2014
CreatorsMcAteer, James
PublisherUlster University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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