Skip to content

Thinking Allowed - Human capabilities

Updated Wednesday, 27th July 2011

In the last of the current run of co-productions, Thinking Allowed hears of a different way of measuring a nation's progress.

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Bringing to an end the current run of programmes which united The Open University with BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor investigates a novel way of exploring development. Martha Nussbaum Creative commons image Icon broken thoughts under CC-BY-NC-SA licence under Creative-Commons license Martha Nussbaum

Development of a country is conventionally measured by GDP, but that can mask a growing inequality in that nation and makes no reference to freedoms, rights or education.

The philosopher Martha Nussbaum outlines her 'human capabilities' approach which she has developed with the Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen. She tells Laurie that her index can be applied around the world and across all cultures as an index which measures how populations are flourishing or flailing.

This edition of Thinking Allowed is a co-production between the BBC and The Open University. You can hear it on BBC Radio 4 at 4pm on Wednesday 27th July, 2011 and again at a quarter past midnight on Monday morning, 1st August. Further broadcast details, podcast and listen again links are at

Interested? Study social sciences with The Open University

Find out more

More Thinking Allowed





Related content (tags)

Copyright information

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?