James Purnell and Amartya Sen: capable of what?

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James Purnell and Amartya Sen: capable of what?

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no less smooth

Is Amartya Sen's capability theory the answer to dead-end Brownism?

I went along last night to see the launch of Open Left, the new project James Purnell will be leading at DEMOS. Some brief observations. I was struck by how consistent Purnell’s occasional forays into political philosophy have been. He has a reputation as a schemer; the “smooth assassin” as the Guardian put it when he resigned after June’s election. But he is also one of a handful of Labour ministers who make a habit of dabbling in political philosophy. (this small group includes Liam Byrne, who last week hosted Etzioni at the Treasury,  both Milibands, and David Lammy. Its also not a group without ambitions; the perception of some philosophical depth helps politicians looks credible.) 

Three years ago I sat in a mostly empty room in the House of Commons listening to Purnell give a lecture on the

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  1. Liberal Conspiracy » Is James Purnell using Sen?07-23-09


James Crabtree

James Crabtree
James Crabtree is comment editor of the FT 

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