Poverty, Work, and Freedom

Political Economy and the Moral Order

by David P. Levine, S. Abu Turab Rizvi

The poor seem easy to identify: those who do not have enough money or enough of the things money can buy. This book explores a different approach to poverty, one suggested by the notion of capabilities emphasized by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. In the spirit of the capabilities approach, the book argues that poverty refers not to a lack of things but to the lack of the ability to live life in a particular way. The authors argue that the poor are those who cannot live a life that is discovered and created rather than already known. Avoiding poverty, then, means having the capacity and opportunity for creative living. The authors argue that the capacity to do skilled work plays a particularly important role in creative living, and suggest that the development of the ability to do skilled work is a vital part of solving the problem of poverty.

  • Cambridge University Press; June 2005
  • ISBN: 9780511123856
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Poverty, Work, and Freedom
  • Author: David P. Levine; S. Abu Turab Rizvi
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"The view of poverty expressed in this book is interesting and thought provoking. The authors put forth a carefully constructed argument linking poverty to the lack of freedom and meaningful work." - Dell Champlin, Western Washington University