In Development as Freedom Amartya Sen explains how in a world of unprecedented increase in overall opulence millions of people living in the Third World are still unfree. Even if they are t technically slaves, they are denied elementary freedoms and remain imprisoned in one way or ather by ecomic poverty, social deprivation, political tyranny or cultural authoritarianism. The main purpose of development is to spread freedom and its 'thousand charms' to the unfree citizens. Freedom, Sen persuasively argues, is at once the ultimate goal of social and ecomic arrangements and the most efficient means of realizing general welfare. Social institutions like markets, political parties, legislatures, the judiciary, and the media contribute to development by enhancing individual freedom and are in turn sustained by social values. Values, institutions, development, and freedom are all closely interrelated, and Sen links them together in an elegant analytical framework. By asking 'What is the relation between our collective ecomic wealth and our individual ability to live as we would like?' and by incorporating individual freedom as a social commitment into his analysis Sen allows ecomics once again, as it did in the time of Adam Smith, to address the social basis of individual well-being and freedom.
Amartya Sen is the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Science. He has been President of the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association, the International Economic Association and the Econometric Society. He has taught at Calcutta, Delhi, Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, and Harvard.