Sustainable Development, Capabilities, Hegemonic Forces and Social Risks: Extending the Capability Approach to Promote Resilience against Social Inequalities

Melissa Jogie, Brian Vincent Ikejiaku

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The capability approach (CA), while originally regarded as a ‘thin’ framework relating to an individual’s ‘States’, has been progressively deployed in wider spaces of social welfare and policy development. In general, the CA centralises an individual’s (or group’s) functionings, and the freedom to achieve those functionings. One under-researched area is the expression of capabilities when constraints are imposed hegemonically, that is, when an individual (or group) appears to consent to having their choices limited because of some underlying sociocultural ideology. Hegemonic forces are particularly relevant to the application of the CA against the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs); specifically, reduced inequalities (Goal 10) under its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, since it is generally under large-scale policy regime shifts that sociocultural inequalities are broken and renewed. New, less transparent hegemonies often emerge within policy changes that seek to address inequalities, and they typically embody a mitigating reaction to social risks emanating from policy change. The chapter is fundamentally a theoretical paper, approached from an interdisciplinary context, and draws on concepts such as sustainable development, capability approach, and freedom in analysing hegemonic forces with respect to reducing inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Capability Approach and the Sustainable Development Goals Inter, Multi, and Trans Disciplinary Perspectives
PublisherRoutledge: Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Electronic)9781032598574
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

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