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Climate change and povertyA new agenda for developed nations$
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Tony Fitzpatrick

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300878

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300878.001.0001

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(p.21) One Capabilities
Climate change and poverty

Tony Fitzpatrick

Policy Press

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.

Keywords:   capabilities, resources, poverty, distribution, natural environment

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