Choices, Capabilities and Sustainability
Jean-Paul Fitoussi - Khalid Malik

Jean-Paul Fitoussi and Khalid Malik, take a different approach to the idea of Sustainability, and situate the concept in the broader context of choices and capabilities In this work for the United Nations Development Programme, the authors suggest us that "definitions alone are not sufficient. But they are a start, since they force a dialogue on how broad a perspective should be taken on what constitutes sustainability, and by extension the mix of policies that can or should be adopted, by taking an equally broad look at their short- and long-term impacts. Much needs to be done if we are to pursue this approach in a systematic manner. The measurement exercise will therefore involve drawing up a list of appropriate indicators that measure the stock of capabilities, the HDI indicators being a good start. The list would include a measure of environmental conditions. These measures can be individually compared with the corresponding boundaries. Alternately, a composite index and a composite threshold could be defined, to alert us to when a critical boundary for sustainability is crossed. But much remains to be done".


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