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The question of the meaning of progress and development is back on the political agenda. How to frame this discontent and search for new alternatives when either socialism or liberalism no longer provides a satisfactory framework? This book introduces in an accessible way the capability approach, first articulated by Amartya Sen in the early 1980s. Written for an international audience, but rooted in the Latin American reality - a region with a history of movements for social justice - the book argues that the capability approach provides to date, the most encompassing and promising ethical framework with which to construct action for improving people's wellbeing and reducing injustices in the world. Comprehensive, practical and nuanced in its treatment of the capability approach, this highly original volume gives students, researchers and professionals in the field of development an innovative framing of the capability approach as a 'language' for action and provides specific examples of how it has made a difference.