University of Bath

Amilcar Cabral and Amartya Sen: Freedom, resistance and realism in political theory

This seminar will discuss resistance to colonisation in Africa and the effects it had.

7 May 20191.15pm
7 May 20192.05pm

Resistance to colonisation in Africa has generated fruitful accounts of the relationship between the development of human capacities and powers, political freedom and realism in political theory

In this talk, Professor Hamilton brings some of these out by comparing the work of Amílcar Cabral and Amartya Sen on capability, freedom and resistance. Cabral, he argues, is more felicitous than Sen because Cabral remains resolutely realist. The defence of this claim rests upon and helps to identify a distinction between realistic political theory and realism in political theory, where the latter is compatible with being utopian in thought or action.

The paper ends with suggestions as to what follows from this regarding justice and democracy.