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Does Quality Qualify the Kerala Model? Decentralised Governance, Human Development and Quality

Pillai N., Vijayamohanan (2018): Does Quality Qualify the Kerala Model? Decentralised Governance, Human Development and Quality.

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Abstract

The present paper argues that the expansion of the vector of human capabilities in Kerala has tended to belie the Pythagorean dictum as well as the Marxian dialectics on a one-to-one correspondence between quantity and quality: the quantity increase has by no means led quality improvement, leaving her just with some apparent achievements in capability. We introduce in the paper an integrated theory of governance, public action and development in the framework of Sennian capability approach and human rights perspective and discuss the experience of Kerala in decentralization ventures, and evaluate the programme in the context of the implications for human development. We also attempt to develop a theory of quality and freedom on the premise that development as freedom from deprivation consists in realising both availability (including accessibility) and utilisability (or simply, utility) of those, the public provision of which constitutes freedom from deprivation. In other words, realisation of development implies that in its truest sense of this duality. Then the right to development, being a human right, is a right to both; even with availability, development is denied and unfreedoms exist if utility is denied. In this light we argue that such apparent capability enhancement in quantitative terms sans utilisability which we call ‘a-capability enhancement’, however, is of neither intrinsic nor instrumental value.

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