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Social Policy and the Capability ApproachConcepts, Measurements and Application$
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Mara Yerkes, Jana Javornik, and Anna Kurowska

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447341789

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447341789.001.0001

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From ‘active’ to ‘capable’: a capability framework for policy and practice on ageing and later life

From ‘active’ to ‘capable’: a capability framework for policy and practice on ageing and later life

(p.41) Three From ‘active’ to ‘capable’: a capability framework for policy and practice on ageing and later life
Social Policy and the Capability Approach

José de São José

Virpi Timonen

Carla Amado

Sérgio Santos

Policy Press

The main European policy framework to address the challenges of population ageing is called 'active ageing', and it seeks to promote older people's engagement in economic and social activities and their independence and autonomy. This chapter proposes the adoption of an alternative-a capability framework-to deal with the challenges of population ageing, which is based on the capability approach (CA) and shifts the focus from activity (mainly economic and social activity) to the real opportunities older people have (their capabilities) to do what they value and to be the persons they want to be. This calls for comprehensive efforts to map out older adults' preferences and needs, and a more flexible, multidimensional and supportive approach to old-age policy, without imposing a priori importance on certain policy domains and without a strong focus on individual responsibility. The capability framework can open the door to policy alternatives that are more focused on older adults' opportunities and preferences.

Keywords:   capability approach, active ageing, old-age policy, older people's capabilities, older peoples' well-being

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