This book examines the main reasons and challenges for the success of the human development approach both in theory and practice as an alternative to the economic growth model. Unlike the preceding research which has typically been either theoretical/prescriptive or empirical/descriptive, it follows a pragmatic historical and institutional methodology, since human development cannot be understood without considering the complexities added centrally by the formation process in the UNDP. Referring to the capability approach, it also addresses how to best reflect happiness within this paradigm.
1. History of Development: Towards Human DevelopmentIntroductionConceptual Shifts in DevelopmentThe Basic Needs ApproachThe Human Development ApproachThe Basic Needs Approach & the Human Development ApproachConclusions2. Institutionalisation of Development ConceptsIntroductionInstitutional MechanismsThe Economic Growth Model in the Bretton Woods InstitutionsThe Human Development Approach within the UNDPConclusions3. Measurement of Development: Predecessors of the Human Development IndexIntroductionConceptual IssuesOperational IssuesSome Reflections and Implications of the Formulation of the HDI Conclusions4. The Human Development Index and Its EvolutionIntroductionReview of Critiques of the HDIRevisions of the HDI in the HDRsDiscussion: What for the Future?Conclusions5. Happiness in Human DevelopmentIntroductionThe Capability Approach in Support of the Human Development ApproachHappiness in the Capability ApproachConclusionsEpilogue
Tadashi Hirai is Project Researcher in the University of Tokyo, Japan, and a supervisor specializing in the human development approach and the human development index at the University of Cambridge, UK.
This book examines the main reasons for the success of the human development approach as an alternative to the economic growth model of development. Is human development theoretically richer, as claimed by its advocates, than any other development concepts including the mainstream? Is its measurement, the human development index (HDI), better than other proposed indices of well-being? Is there anything to be revised to keep its influence for the future? The methodology used throughout this book follows a historical and institutional approach on the ground that human development cannot be understood without taking into account the complexities added by the formation process. Quite often, human development debates are either theoretical and prescriptive or empirical and descriptive. Instead, this book provides a ‘meso-analysis’ of human development by means of a more pragmatic historical and institutional methodology, avoiding the other two extremes that have already been covered by philosophers and field-experts.
Offers unprecedented historical and institutional context to understanding the human development approachRevives critical discussions around the evolution and value of the now-popular human development index (HDI)Presents pointed policy suggestions for how the human development approach can overcome its current challenges
“A most careful examination of the human development and capability paradigm—its origins, evolution and potential for the future, much still unrealised. Hirai’s penetrating analysis reveals details often overlooked while probing the implications for policy in the future and further work. This is an important contribution, ideal for university students and all who want a clearly written explanation but not over-simple presentation of this pioneering paradigm.” (Sir Richard Jolly, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK) “An original and thoughtful historical exploration of why and how the human development approach has become widespread, lasting and influential; in particular how it became institutionalized within and through the UNDP and its human development indices. By combining methodological and institutional analyses, Hirai takes us much deeper in understanding the formation of global and national systems of conceptualising, measuring, evaluating and planning human progress.” (Des Gasper, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands)“An intellectual tour de force, revealing the key ideas, institutions, indicators and methods that characterise the Human Development Approach. This is a careful engagement between concepts and history of this paradigm through to the encouraging of reasoned debate. The result is a commendable read that addresses its implications for the reception of new concepts such as happiness, in improving our understanding of human agency and capabilities.” (Shailaja Fennell, Centre of Development Studies and Jesus College, University of Cambridge, UK)
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