Indigenous health: Capabilities and freedom

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The life expectancy differential between Indigenous and other Australians is in the order of 11 years and requires far-reaching, complex and multifaceted policy responses.Theories and instruments of international human rights are among those that have helped to shape responsive policy discourses. Developing these often abstract rights into people's substantive capacities to make meaningful choices about how they will live is difficult, but the article shows how this is possible with reference to a general theoryof capabilities as self-determination. Such a theory, proceeds from Sen and Nussbaum's extension of Aristotle's concern for 'human flourishing' where the political right to self determination, affirmed at international law, presumes certain essentialist capabilities to secure, people's political agency. These essentialist capabilities suggest a distribution of authority on the basis of equal opportunities to make choices of personal value, rather than just an egalitarian concern for equality of outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-751
Number of pages19
Issue number5
Early online dateSept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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