A new style of development to deal with the current crisis: solidarity-based economy, collective capability and sustainable human development

Jean-Luc Dubois and Elena Lasida

Table of Contents


To avoid a worsening of the current economic crisis, and to prevent future crises related to ecological constraints and social imbalances, there is a need to change the decision-making processes and related power structures, in order to envisage a new style of development. Indeed, three constituents of such a style are already in place. Firstly, the theoretical approach looks at the capabilities of people, at their freedom to choose what they value, and at their agency. Second, in operational terms, a solidarity-based economy regularly invents relevant solutions for overcoming changing social and ecological issues by means of a defined set of values: responsibility, equity and recognition, and the way people interact and behave. Third, sustainable development provides a global conceptual framework through its human dimension (i.e. the reinforcement of personal capabilities), and its social dimension (intra- and intergenerational equity, poverty and inequality traps, vulnerability and social exclusion). This paper sets out to show how these three constituents interact to generate a new style of development, which could influence the future design of public policies.

JEL Classification: A13, O15, P 46


  • capability approach
  • human development
  • responsibility
  • solidarity-based economy
  • sustainable development


  • Introduction
  • The solidarity-based economy as a social experiment
    • A mirror for new ways of behaving and interacting
    • Extending ethical references
    • Freedom and responsibility
    • Equality and fairness
    • Solidarity and recognition
  • The capability approach as a theoretical foundation
    • The Basis and Insights of the Capability Approach
    • An extension of responsibility and collective action
  • Sustainable human development as a conceptual framework
    • The social dimension of sustainable development
    • Social vs. societal
    • Ensuring the social sustainability of public policies
    • Back to the human development framework
  • Conclusion