Constructing well-being and poverty dimensions on political grounds

  • The paper addresses the problem of justifying ethically sound dimensions of poverty or well-being for use in a multidimensional framework. We combine Sen’s capability approach and Rawls’ method of political constructivism and argue that the constitution and its interpretative practice can serve as an ethically suitable informational basis for selecting dimensions, under certain conditions. We illustrate our Constitutional Approach by deriving a set of well-being dimensions from an analysis of the Italian Constitution. We argue that this method is both an improvement on those used in the existing literature from the ethical point of view, and has a strong potential for providing the ethical basis of a conception of well-being for the public affairs of a pluralist society. In the final part, we elaborate on the implications for measuring well-being based on data, by ranking Italian regions in terms of well-being, and pointing out the differences in results produced by different methods.
Author:Francesco Burchi, Pasquale De Muro, Eszter Kollar
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Social indicators research
Publisher:Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
Place of publication:Dordrecht [u. a.]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/04/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/06/21
Tag:Capabilities; Constitutions; Italy; Political constructivism; Poverty measurement; Well-being
Page Number:22
First Page:441
Last Page:462
© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Institutes:Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Exzellenzcluster / Exzellenzcluster Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0