GROUNDING AMARTYA SEN’S NOTION OF DEMOCRACY IN THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
The experience of people of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of democracy in the enhancement of people’s lives and in the defence of their political and civil rights. Despite the many criticisms against democracy, still it is arguable that given the current situation it is the better form of government to adopt. This paper is an analytic reflection on Amartya Sen’s notion of democracy as explicated in his major works Development as Freedom and The Idea of Justice.Though Sen has other great works such as Identity and Violence, this exposition, for practical reasons, would generally focus on how he explains democracy in the said works. Another objective of this paper is to put forward a critical reflection on Sen’s perspective. For although his moral philosophy has been acknowledged as one that offers a valuable contribution, even in the evolving field of Catholic social ethics, it has an apparent lacuna and that is the notion of the human person. Building on this premise, this paper proposes to ground Sen’s notion of democracy on what Catholic social tradition has to say on the dignity of the human person.
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The minimal-procedural definition is from Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
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