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Title: Housing freedom, Amartya Sen and urban development policies : squatter settlement upgrading in Salvado da Bahia, Brazil
Author: Frediani, Alexandre Apsan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3483 663X
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2007
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The World Bank has redirected its cOliceptualization of poverty based on income deprivation to one based on Amartya Sen's concept of 'development as freedom'. As yet, evidence is inconclusive on the impact of Sen's thinking, in practice, on the World Bank's urban programmes. Academics elaborating and applying Sen's concept of freedom have proposed the Capability Approach which aims at moving away from the income-led approach to development, by focusing on capabilities as instruments and outcome of the development process. In this context, this thesis contributes to the current discourse by examining the application ofSen's view of 'development as freedom' to the context of urban development. The concept of Housing Freedom is proposed as a framework to explore squatter upgrading interventions in terms of their ability to realize and expand capabilities. The thesis provides an evaluation of the impact of Sen's Capability Approach using research on a classic World Bank squatter upgrading project in Novos Alagados in Salvador, Brazil. A comparison is made with a community led upgrading initiative also in Salvador, in the neighbourhood of Calabar. This comparative evaluation unfolds key practical and theoretical issues about the conceptualisation and alleviation of poverty using Sen's thinking. The exploration of both squatter interventions through the Housing Freedom framework contributes to the clarification of the relationship between housing and poverty. This thesis argues that the World Bank urban policies are contradictory and inconsistent. Although reframing its conceptualisation of poverty to' one based on multiple aspects of deprivation, this thesis shows that the World Bank's housing policies are still focused on the enablement of markets. Ironically, the comparison between the squatter upgrading interventions in Novos Alagados and Calabar, reveals that the community led initiative has been a more effective executor of market enablement strategies than the World Bank funded project. This thesis argues that Sen's thinking could be proposed as an alternative to neoliberalism only by embracing collective and structural aspects of freedom. The methodological contribution of this thesis is to show that the framework of Housing Freedom applied through participatory methods, provides a valid context-related and multidimensional approach to the evaluation of squatter settlements. The thesis indicates, nonetheless, that the Capability Approach provides a comprehensive framework that safeguards the radical roots ofparticipatory methods. Finally, the thesis recognises that the application of Sen's concepts positively contributes to contemporary discourses ofdevelopment, particularly in relation to the Rights-based Approach, Livelihoods Approach and Social Exclusion analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available