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Amartya Sen, "Why freedom is not a Western invention"

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is the greenhouse effect?
  3. The determining factors
  4. The heat wave in summers, is it actually due to the greenhouse effect?
  5. Will this phenomenon happen again?
  6. Conclusion

Born in 1933 in Santiniketan in West Bengal, Amartya Sen has experienced the gradual emergence of the young Indian democracy. After studying in Calcutta and Cambridge in England, this humanist economist has become known for his work on the social choice theory that seeks to analyze the relationship between individual preferences and collective decisions.

He thus demonstrates the paradox of ?impossible democracy? by K. Arrow can be solved under certain conditions. A Harvard professor and former director of Trinity College, Cambridge, Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 for his work on famine, where he considers that democracy is the only effective bulwark. Thus, democracy appears as a watermark across the whole of his work. His original thought was to demonstrate the character of democracy to be both necessary and complex.

With this in mind he wrote Democracy as a universal value in 1999 and the global roots of democracy in 2003, as the two joints of democracy of others. In this relatively short and somewhat theoretical book, Sen is reflecting on the intersection of economics and political philosophy. He tries to demonstrate that the strengthening and spread of democracy are truly "the great challenge of our time" (p.10).

This statement echoes the author's thesis: democracy is a universal value to global roots. Democracy is indeed considered as the prerogative of the West, a value that it has often given the task to introduce in countries that do not have it. In the context of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the response falls especially true against the thesis of The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington.

Amartya Sen will give an original definition, humanist and extension of the concept of democracy. This definition, being one of three fundamental aspects of the book can be considered in a new light the question of the complexity of democracy and its practice.
Political system with respect to sovereignty must belong to all citizens, and democracy is designed exclusively "in terms of voting and elections?, that is, it tends to be restricted to universal suffrage.

Tags: Amartya Sen, Indian democracy, Samuel Huntington, political system, The Clash of Civilizations.

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