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Development as Common Good

Contemporary development theories emphasise the importance of increasing 'individual freedoms' without giving enough emphasis to what substantively means to have a good life. These theories, inspired by economics and liberal political philosophy, ignore the importance of common good and human values in shaping social policy and development strategies. The project, carried out by Dr Flavio Comim, explores the limitations of current development discourses and puts forward a framework for thinking of common good as a social objective. This project provides an umbrella for several research activities, such as reading groups (at St Edmund's College and at the Centre of Development Studies), and publications.

Cambridge Capability Conferences (CCC): In 2016 Dr Comim launched a series of annual conferences in Cambridge (Centre of Development Studies). Early 'capability conferences' in Cambridge initiated in 2001 and were characterised by in-depth discussions, time for exchanges and an intimate intellectual atmosphere where the participants were all part of the same conversation. This setting provides a vibrant and stimulating environment for lectures, conferences, PhD theses and research on human development from a capability perspective.


Dr Flavio Comin (PI)

Prof Jonathan Warner


  • COMIM, F. (2017, forthcoming) Foundations of Human Development: an introduction to the capability
    approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • COMIM, F. (2017, forthcoming) Handbook of BRICS and Emerging Economies. Co-edited with P.B. Anand
    and Shailaja Fennell. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • COMIM, F. with Hirai, T., and Ikemoto Y. (2016), Happiness and Human Development: A Capability Perspective, Journal of International Development, 28: 7.
  • COMIM, F (2015) The Post-2015 Global Development Agenda: a Latin American perspective.
    Journal of International Development, vol. 27, pp. 330-344
  • COMIM, F. (2015) A Meta-ranking approach to human development: social choice, the
    capability approach and the HDI. In: 2015 Human Development and Capability Association
    Conference, Washington. 2015 Human Development and Capability Association Conference,
    v. 1. p. 1-20.
  • COMIM, F. (2015) Publicness and Human Development. In: 2015 Human Development and Capability Association Conference, Washington. 2015 Human Development and Capability
    Association Conference, v. 1. p. 1-20. Forthcoming in Anand, P.; Comim, F. and Fennell, S.
    Handbook of BRICS and Emerging Economies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nussbaum, M., Comim, F. eds (2014)  Capabilities, Gender, Equality: toward fundamental entitlements, Cambridge University Press.
  • Comin, F. Amaral, P. V. (2013) "The Human Values Index: conceptual foundations and evidence from Brazil", in Cambridge Journal of Economics. Oxford University Press

An interdisciplinary research hub inspired by Catholic thought and culture, focussed on contemporary global realities, and dedicated to encounter, dialogue, and transformation

Upcoming events

AI, Digital Dualism and the Loss of Wonder

Apr 27, 2018

St Edmund's College (Garden Room)

Woolf-VHI Joint Seminar: Who are the People of God?

May 15, 2018

KC Shasha Conference Suite, Woolf Institute, Cambridge CB3 0UB

Upcoming events