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  4. The Capability Approach and Disability: Constraints on Disabled People's Participation




The Capability Approach and Disability: Constraints on Disabled People's Participation



Please let us know if you have any special requirements.

Speaker: Dr Tania Burchardt, Deputy Director, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and Associate Professorm Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics

About the event

Amartya Sen's capability approach draws our attention to the structural and institutional barriers that limit what people are able to 'be and do' in their lives (their capabilities). The social model of disability likewise emphasises the interaction between individuals (in particular, their impairments) and their environment in producing disadvantage or 'disability'.

In this seminar Tania Burchardt will explore the links between the capability approach and the social model of disability at a theoretical level, before presenting some findings on the constraints on disabled people's participation in leisure and cultural activities from analysis of the UK Life Opportunities Survey 2009-2011 - a survey explicitly designed within a social model framework. She will conclude with some reflections on the commonalities between the capability approach and the social model, and the difficulties researchers face in operationalising both approaches empirically.

About the speaker

Dr Burchardt's research interests lie in theories of justice, including the capability approach, measurement of inequality and applied welfare policy analysis. She is co-editor of 'Journal of Poverty and Social Justice'.


Please reserve a place by contacting Doria Pilling.


  • Burdchardt, T, Evans, E. & Holder, H. (2015) 'Public policy and inequalities of choice and autonomy', Social Policy & Administration, 49(1) 44-67;
  • Burchardt, T. (2014)'Deliberative research as a tool to make value judgements', Qualitative Research, 14(3), 353-70; 
  • Burchardt, T, (2010)'Time, income and substantive freedom: a capability approach', Time and Society, 19(3) 318-44; 
  • Burchardt,T. (2009) 'Agency goals, adaptation and capability sets', Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 10(1) 3-19.


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When & where

1.00pm - 2.15pmWednesday 25th February 2015

A225 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom