Vida digna : hacia un horizonte normativo para el desarrollo humano de la Colombia rural 

Translated title of the thesis: Dignified life: towards a normative horizon for the human development of rural Colombia

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The objective of this rescarch is to establish a theoretical dialogue between the capability and human development approach and the aspirational notion of dignified life defended by the leaders of the Peasant Association of the Cimitarra Rivcr Valley, a social organizaron that promotes a projcct called peasant reserve zone in the central basin of the Magdalena River in North Eastem Colombia. Formulated as a political theory problem. this research has involved fieldwork with leaders of the association, under the epistemológica! assumption of the validity of their worldviews as a source of political theory. The methodology under which the fieldwork is conducted and the data is interpreted is phenomenology. The reconstruction of the aspirational notion of dignified life defended by the Cimitarra Valley Peasant Association has shown important convergences with the most part of Martha Nussbaum?s list of Central Capabilities. as well as the notorious absence of two of the Central Capabilities. As a possible explanation of the absence of two of the central capabilities in the reconstructed aspirational notion of dignified life, the argument is advanced that it may be interpreted as a consequence of the problem of "adaptive preferences": the adaptation of preferences determines the fact that some people may consider some of the central capabilities as luxurious capabilities. The results of this research permit to conclude that the capability approach :an be used as a theoretical framework for conceptualizing the political claims of social organizations, but mediated by a previous dialogue with the participants of each particular social organization. That kind of knowledge dialogues will contribute to solidify the capability approach, and will help social organizations in their normative purposc of transforming societies that aspire to justice
Date of Award2017
Original languageSpanish (Colombia)
Awarding Institution
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
  • Doctorado en ciencias sociales y humanas
SupervisorÁngela María del Rosario Calvo de Saavedra (Supervisor)

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