Freedoms, institutions and sustainable human development according to Sen’s capability approach
| RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI SCIENZE SOCIALI - 2006 - 3
The aim of this paper is to outline the role of instrumental freedoms and institutions in the
achievement of sustainable human development, doing so according to the perspective of Sen’s
capability approach. Each area of sustainability can be represented by a set of driving forces,
response variables and state variables. State variables denote constitutive freedoms, the achieved
functionings chosen from the capability set. Their variations are produced by driving force variables.
The latter are, in their turn, influenced by response variables triggered by institutions and
instrumental freedoms. We map a selected set of variables related to the environmental dimension in
order to show how instrumental freedoms and institutions influence sustainable human development.