Penn State

Evelyn F. Wamboye - Associate Prof. of Economics, Penn State Dubois

Book Title: Development as Freedom

Author: Amartya Sen

Book Description:

I remember clearly the first time I heard the name Amartya Sen. He had just won the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for his contribution on welfare economics." It was a big deal not only for me as a student of economics in Kenya at that time but also to many other economists as his works focus on critical issues of welfare (social and economic justices, freedom, capability, poverty, vulnerability, deprivation, hunger, famine, identity and values) in developing countries. Later in 2001 when I was a graduate student at Western Illinois University, I bought his book -- Development as Freedom -- that was published in 1999. His contribution really touched me when I read the following:


We live in a world of unprecedented opulence of a kind that could have been hard even to imagine a century or two ago. Yet, we also live in a world with remarkable deprivation, destitution and oppression. There are many new problems as well as old ones including persistence of poverty and unfulfilled elementary needs, occurrence of famines and widespread hunger, violation of elementary political freedoms as well as basic liberties, extensive neglect of the interests and agency of women, and worsening threats to our environment and to the sustainability of our economic and social lives.


Prof. Sen is an economist, philosopher and academician with unmatched contributions in welfare economics. He addresses issues that are at the core of ordinary individuals deprived of opportunities in poor countries as well as those marginalized people in advanced countries. The words in this book have not only been my motivation over the years but also my inspiration.

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