Catholic Social Tradition and the Capability Approach


Location: Geddes Hall (View on map )

The Capability Approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum has emerged as one of the most influential contributions to development discourse in the 20th and the 21st centuries, influencing both grassroots NGOs and the development activities of the United Nations. Catholic Social Tradition (CST), although lesser known, has also played a major role in development work, especially within the context of Church-based and Church-led development initiatives.

This workshop will explore common ground and similarities--as well as crucial differences--between the Capability Approach and Catholic Social Tradition. An exploratory workshop, the dialogue aims to identify key questions and avenues for further research related to three primary areas:

- Concepts of the person
- The role of agency and freedom
- Questions of community, social theory, and political philosophy

Organized by Paolo Carozza, Paul Kollman, C.S.C., and Clemens Sedmak, the workshop is sponsored by the Catholic Social Tradition and Human Development Working Group, a collaboration between the Kellogg Institute and Center for Social Concerns.

Open to faculty and students. For more information and to register, please contact Beth Simpson Hlabse at

Registration deadline: Friday, January 27.


Center for Social Concerns
(574) 631-5293