The capabilities approach and worker wellbeing


Miles, L. 2014. The capabilities approach and worker wellbeing. Journal of Development Studies. 50 (8), pp. 1043-1054.
TitleThe capabilities approach and worker wellbeing
AuthorsMiles, L.

Recently, scholars have attempted to apply the capabilities approach, as advanced by Amartya Sen, to the realm of labour. They argue that it provides a philosophical justification for a ‘development’ approach to labour regulation, supports the design of policies that promote workers’ wellbeing and validates the institution of worker participation mechanisms. For labour proponents, this is an exciting prospect. This article argues that despite its promise for expanding workers’ capabilities, certain ambiguities potentially impede the approach’s utility, particularly in developing countries. We suggest ways in which it can be refined and developed to better serve the interests of labour in these contexts, notably by promoting collective and not merely individual capabilities.

Research GroupDiversity and Gender group
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Publication dates
Print03 Aug 2014
Online19 Dec 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Feb 2015
Accepted01 Nov 2013
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Development Studies on 03/08/2014, available online:

Additional information

Special issue on Labour. Article published online: 19 Dec 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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