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Oscar Garza-Vázquez

Published On


Page Range

pp. 145-178

Print Length

33 pages

4. Collective Agency Freedom as the Engine of a Common Good Dynamic

A Conceptual Proposal for Measurement

  • Oscar Garza-Vázquez (author)
The chapter situates agency freedom as a normative element of development. It recognises people as active subjects capable of forming, revising and pursuing their own goals. Drawing on insights from the first part of the book and on Sen’s conceptual framework, Oscar Garza-Vázquez understands people as agents capable of shaping their own development. He argues however that approaching development from a common good perspective reveals some caveats within the literature on Sen’s notion of agency as: (a) it tends to focus on the freedom of people to achieve non-wellbeing goals; (b) it is primarily discussed at the individual level; and (c) its conceptualisation reflects this bias by overemphasising the ability of individuals to make choices. Accordingly, Oscar proposes a notion of collective agency freedom, which can be broadly understood as the opportunity of a given population to self-organise and to act together to achieve common goals as a collectivity. Finally, it ends by proposing three possible dimensions to appraise the proposed conceptualisation of collective agency freedom: (a) the freedom to imagine things together; (b) the freedom to organise around a common goal; (c) the freedom to achieve things together.


Oscar Garza-Vázquez