An analysis of the capabilities approach which argues it risks a certain indeterminacy and slipperiness. Resources like income and wealth should not be undervalued because they are social relations of power which significantly enable and constrain doings and beings. Poverty is a ‘poverty of capabilities’ in so far as this denotes a deficiency in the meta-capabilities which make capabilities possible. Therefore, we ought to focus upon the socionatural conditions underpinning the multiple dimensions of poverty. A poverty of capabilities implies deprivations in those resources central to both ecological and human-centred systems: socionatural resources. Thus, an ecosocial understanding of poverty defines it as the deprivations resulting from an inadequate distribution of, and participative access to, those resources which are essential to both natural and social environments.
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