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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Special issue on Martha Nussbaum’s Creating Capabilities
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Social Economics, Volume 40, Issue 7
Martha Nussbaum is one of the most important living philosophers and political theorists. For more than 20 years, her writings have influenced our understanding of our relationships to our emotions, our reason, animals, resources, and our political systems. Moreover, Professor Nussbaum’s capabilities approach has led to some of the most significant advances in the field of social economics. She has developed a viewpoint and language that allows us to think much more coherently and profoundly about the non-financial realities of wealth and poverty. In so doing, Professor Nussbaum forms a key part of a tradition that includes the work of John Ruskin and Thomas Hill Green, as well as contemporary political economists such as Amartya Sen. Her work has enriched the work of academic ethicists, political theorists, radical economists, development scholars, sociologists, feminists, geographers and many others. Yet, Professor Nussbaum has never been content with a narrowly academic influence, no matter how significant her work in that area. She has also had a huge effect on practitioners around the world.
Creating Capabilities bridges the gap between academic research and the daily work of social and economic activists. It manages to be simultaneously a concise and still clear introduction to Professor Nussbaum’s capabilities approach and a thought-provoking reflection on the practice of social economics. For this reason, we were very pleased indeed when Professor Nussbaum accepted our invitation to participate in this special issue. We are grateful also to the other contributors for accepting our invitation to reflect on Professor Nussbaum’s work. The editors are pleased to thank Ken Booth, Tony Burns, Severine Deneulin, Peri Roberts and Martha Nussbaum for their thought-provoking articles. We are pleased also to thank Cambridge University Press for their generous assistance.
We hope that you will find much of interest in this wide-ranging exploration of the nuances and dynamics of Martha Nussbaum’s work and the practical approach to which it gives rise. Our hope is that the detailed and careful pieces that follow will provoke yet further debate and development of this frontier of social economics. After all, Professor Nussbaum’s capabilities approach and those like it find a natural home in The International Journal of Social Economics and a diverse expert audience in its readers.