Martha Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, is one of the world’s foremost philosophers. Her book, the culmination of a career dedicated to social justice issues, highlights one of the conundrums of western societies.
As she says, “Leaders of countries often focus on national economic growth alone, but their people, meanwhile, are striving for something different: meaningful lives for themselves.”
Nussbaum’s “capabilities approach” offers a new policy path. Instead of Gross Domestic Product, governments should look at individual people. What is this person good at? What are his or her strengths? What opportunities are there?
Nussbaum’s capabilities movement is a challenge to transform the relationship between society and the individual.