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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2Society, Institutions, and Development$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.001.0001

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Agents into Principals

Agents into Principals

Democratizing Development in South Asia

Chapter:
(p.542) Chapter 29 Agents into Principals
Source:
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2
Author(s):

Rehman Sobhan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.003.0030

This chapter seeks to provide substance to Amartya Sen's lifelong struggle to end poverty across South Asia by seeking to enhancing individual freedoms. It argues that to end poverty and enhance freedoms we need to correct the structural injustices which constrain freedom and thereby create poverty. The chapter points out that the intergovernmental as well as the national poverty alleviation strategies of the South Asia countries have not given serious attention to the structural dimensions of poverty. Addressing the issue of injustice demands a qualitative change in the design of poverty alleviation strategies which should move beyond the prevailing programs for promoting income gain for the poor and enhancing their agency role. The challenge before South Asia's policymakers is to elevate the deprived and marginalized into the role of principals where they may aspire to own corporate assets, become major players in national and global markets, and eventually emerge as political masters in the institutions of governance in each country of the region.

Keywords:   poverty, structural, injustice, agency, agent, principal, society, development, distribution, growth

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