Audio Books by Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen is the author of Home in the World: A Memoir (2022), Calcutta after Independence: a Personal Memoir (2019), Secure Sensor Cloud (2018), Collective Choice and Social Welfare (2018) and other 133 books.

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Home in the World: A Memoir

release date: Jan 25, 2022
Home in the World: A Memoir
From Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, a long-awaited memoir about home, belonging, inequality, and identity, recounting a singular life devoted to betterment of humanity. The Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is one of a handful of people who may truly be called “a global intellectual” (Financial Times). A towering figure in the field of economics, Sen is perhaps best known for his work on poverty and famine, as inspired by events in his boyhood home of West Bengal, India. But Sen has, in fact, called many places “home,” including Dhaka, in modern Bangladesh; Kolkata, where he first studied economics; and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he engaged with the greatest minds of his generation. In Home in the World, these “homes” collectively form an unparalleled and profoundly truthful vision of twentieth- and twenty-first-century life. Here Sen, “one of the most distinguished minds of our time” (New York Review of Books), interweaves scenes from his remarkable life with candid philosophical reflections on economics, welfare, and social justice, demonstrating how his experiences—in Asia, Europe, and later America—vitally informed his work. In exquisite prose, Sen evokes his childhood travels on the rivers of Bengal, as well as the “quiet beauty” of Dhaka. The Mandalay of Orwell and Kipling is recast as a flourishing cultural center with pagodas, palaces, and bazaars, “always humming with intriguing activities.” With characteristic moral clarity and compassion, Sen reflects on the cataclysmic events that soon tore his world asunder, from the Bengal famine of 1943 to the struggle for Indian independence against colonial tyranny—and the outbreak of political violence that accompanied the end of British rule. Witnessing these lacerating tragedies only amplified Sen’s sense of social purpose. He went on to study famine and inequality, wholly reconstructing theories of social choice and development. In 1998, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions to welfare economics, which included a fuller understanding of poverty as the deprivation of human capability. Still Sen, a tireless champion of the dispossessed, remains an activist, working now as ever to empower vulnerable minorities and break down walls among warring ethnic groups. As much a book of penetrating ideas as of people and places, Home in the World is the ultimate “portrait of a citizen of the world” (Spectator), telling an extraordinary story of human empathy across distance and time, and above all, of being at home in the world.

Calcutta after Independence: a Personal Memoir

release date: Oct 31, 2019
Calcutta after Independence: a Personal Memoir
In this lively and engaging reminiscence, eminent economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen recalls his college days in Calcutta in the 1950s, and his subsequent joining of the economics department of the fledgling Jadavpur University a few years later. The text of this volume is based on a public lecture delivered by Amartya Sen at Gandhi Bhaban, Jadavpur University, on 5 July 2019.

Secure Sensor Cloud

release date: Dec 17, 2018
Secure Sensor Cloud
The sensor cloud is a new model of computing paradigm for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), which facilitates resource sharing and provides a platform to integrate different sensor networks where multiple users can build their own sensing applications at the same time. It enables a multi-user on-demand sensory system, where computing, sensing, and wireless network resources are shared among applications. Therefore, it has inherent challenges for providing security and privacy across the sensor cloud infrastructure. With the integration of WSNs with different ownerships, and users running a variety of applications including their own code, there is a need for a risk assessment mechanism to estimate the likelihood and impact of attacks on the life of the network. The data being generated by the wireless sensors in a sensor cloud need to be protected against adversaries, which may be outsiders as well as insiders. Similarly, the code disseminated to the sensors within the sensor cloud needs to be protected against inside and outside adversaries. Moreover, since the wireless sensors cannot support complex and energy-intensive measures, the lightweight schemes for integrity, security, and privacy of the data have to be redesigned. The book starts with the motivation and architecture discussion of a sensor cloud. Due to the integration of multiple WSNs running user-owned applications and code, the possibility of attacks is more likely. Thus, next, we discuss a risk assessment mechanism to estimate the likelihood and impact of attacks on these WSNs in a sensor cloud using a framework that allows the security administrator to better understand the threats present and take necessary actions. Then, we discuss integrity and privacy preserving data aggregation in a sensor cloud as it becomes harder to protect data in this environment. Integrity of data can be compromised as it becomes easier for an attacker to inject false data in a sensor cloud, and due to hop by hop nature, privacy of data could be leaked as well. Next, the book discusses a fine-grained access control scheme which works on the secure aggregated data in a sensor cloud. This scheme uses Attribute Based Encryption (ABE) to achieve the objective. Furthermore, to securely and efficiently disseminate application code in sensor cloud, we present a secure code dissemination algorithm which first reduces the amount of code to be transmitted from the base station to the sensor nodes. It then uses Symmetric Proxy Re-encryption along with Bloom filters and Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMACs) to protect the code against eavesdropping and false code injection attacks.

Collective Choice and Social Welfare

release date: May 17, 2018
Collective Choice and Social Welfare
Originally published in 1970, this classic study has been recognized for its groundbreaking role in integrating economics and ethics, and for its influence in opening up new areas of research in social choice, including aggregative assessment. It has also had a large influence on international organizations, including the United Nations, notably in its work on human development. The book showed that the "impossibility theorems" in social choice theory--led by the pioneering work of Kenneth Arrow--do not negate the possibility of reasoned and democratic social choice. Sen''s ideas about social choice, welfare economics, inequality, poverty, and human rights have continued to evolve since the book''s first appearance. This expanded edition preserves the text of the original while presenting eleven new chapters of fresh arguments and results. "Expanding on the early work of Condorcet, Pareto, Arrow, and others, Sen provides rigorous mathematical argumentation on the merits of voting mechanisms...For those with graduate training, it will serve as a frequently consulted reference and a necessity on one''s book shelf." --J. F. O''Connell, Choice

The Arrow Impossibility Theorem

release date: Jul 22, 2014
The Arrow Impossibility Theorem
Kenneth J. Arrow''s pathbreaking "impossibility theorem" was a watershed innovation in the history of welfare economics, voting theory, and collective choice, demonstrating that there is no voting rule that satisfies the four desirable axioms of decisiveness, consensus, nondictatorship, and independence. In this book Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen explore the implications of Arrow''s theorem. Sen considers its ongoing utility, exploring the theorem''s value and limitations in relation to recent research on social reasoning, and Maskin discusses how to design a voting rule that gets us closer to the ideal—given the impossibility of achieving the ideal. The volume also contains a contextual introduction by social choice scholar Prasanta K. Pattanaik and commentaries from Joseph E. Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow himself, as well as essays by Maskin, Dasgupta, and Sen outlining the mathematical proof and framework behind their assertions.

A Wish a Day for a Week

release date: Jan 23, 2014
A Wish a Day for a Week
In this sparkling, witty and impassioned essay – delivered as the keynote lecture at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2014 – Amartya Sen meets the Goddess of Medium Things who promises him seven wishes, one for each day of the week. As he spars with the goddess who is often bemused by his demands, Sen writes of the seven changes he thinks India needs most, from improving the teaching of humanities to abolishing Article 377. Humorous in tone, yet deeply serious in intent, A Wish a Day for a Week is a marvellous essay and an important blueprint for India’s development from one of our great thinkers.

The Argumentative Indian

release date: Oct 15, 2013
The Argumentative Indian
A Nobel Laureate offers a dazzling new book about his native country India is a country with many distinct traditions, widely divergent customs, vastly different convictions, and a veritable feast of viewpoints. In The Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen draws on a lifetime study of his country''s history and culture to suggest the ways we must understand India today in the light of its rich, long argumentative tradition. The millenia-old texts and interpretations of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, agnostic, and atheistic Indian thought demonstrate, Sen reminds us, ancient and well-respected rules for conducting debates and disputations, and for appreciating not only the richness of India''s diversity but its need for toleration. Though Westerners have often perceived India as a place of endless spirituality and unreasoning mysticism, he underlines its long tradition of skepticism and reasoning, not to mention its secular contributions to mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, medicine, and political economy. Sen discusses many aspects of India''s rich intellectual and political heritage, including philosophies of governance from Kautilya''s and Ashoka''s in the fourth and third centuries BCE to Akbar''s in the 1590s; the history and continuing relevance of India''s relations with China more than a millennium ago; its old and well-organized calendars; the films of Satyajit Ray and the debates between Gandhi and the visionary poet Tagore about India''s past, present, and future. The success of India''s democracy and defense of its secular politics depend, Sen argues, on understanding and using this rich argumentative tradition. It is also essential to removing the inequalities (whether of caste, gender, class, or community) that mar Indian life, to stabilizing the now precarious conditions of a nuclear-armed subcontinent, and to correcting what Sen calls the politics of deprivation. His invaluable book concludes with his meditations on pluralism, on dialogue and dialectics in the pursuit of social justice, and on the nature of the Indian identity.

Development as Freedom

release date: May 25, 2011
Development as Freedom
By the winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Economics, an essential and paradigm-altering framework for understanding economic development--for both rich and poor--in the twenty-first century. Freedom, Sen argues, is both the end and most efficient means of sustaining economic life and the key to securing the general welfare of the world''s entire population. Releasing the idea of individual freedom from association with any particular historical, intellectual, political, or religious tradition, Sen clearly demonstrates its current applicability and possibilities. In the new global economy, where, despite unprecedented increases in overall opulence, the contemporary world denies elementary freedoms to vast numbers--perhaps even the majority of people--he concludes, it is still possible to practically and optimistically restain a sense of social accountability. Development as Freedom is essential reading.

Peace and Democratic Society

release date: Jan 01, 2011
Peace and Democratic Society
Civil Paths to Peace contains the analyses and findings of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, established in response to the 2005 request of Commonwealth Head of Government for the Commonwealth Secretary-General to ''explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth.'' This report focuses particularly on the issues of terrorism, extremism, conflict and violence, which are much in ascendancy and afflict Commonwealth countries as well as the rest of the world. It argues that cultivating respect and understanding is both important in itself and consequential in reducing violence and terrorism. It further argues that cultivated violence is generated through fomenting disrespect and fostering confrontational misunderstandings. The report looks at the mechanisms through which violence is cultivated through advocacy and recruitment, and the pre-existing inequalities, deprivations and humiliations on which those advocacies draw. These diagnoses also clear the way for methods of countering disaffection and violence. In various chapters the different connections are explored and examined to yield general policy recommendations. Accepting diversity, respecting all human beings, and understanding the richness of perspectives that people have are of great relevance for all Commonwealth countries, and for its 1.8 billion people. They are also importance for the rest of the world. The civil paths to peace are presented here for use both inside the Commonwealth and beyond its boundaries. The Commonwealth has survived and flourished, despite the hostilities associated with past colonial history, through the use of a number of far-sighted guiding principles. The Commission argues that those principles have continuing relevance today for the future of the Commonwealth--and also for the world at large.

Mismeasuring Our Lives

release date: Apr 27, 2010
Mismeasuring Our Lives
In February of 2008, amid the looming global financial crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France asked Nobel Prize–winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, along with the distinguished French economist Jean Paul Fitoussi, to establish a commission of leading economists to study whether Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—the most widely used measure of economic activity—is a reliable indicator of economic and social progress. The Commission was given the further task of laying out an agenda for developing better measures. Mismeasuring Our Lives is the result of this major intellectual effort, one with pressing relevance for anyone engaged in assessing how and whether our economy is serving the needs of our society. The authors offer a sweeping assessment of the limits of GDP as a measurement of the well-being of societies—considering, for example, how GDP overlooks economic inequality (with the result that most people can be worse off even though average income is increasing); and does not factor environmental impacts into economic decisions. In place of GDP, Mismeasuring Our Lives introduces a bold new array of concepts, from sustainable measures of economic welfare, to measures of savings and wealth, to a “green GDP.” At a time when policymakers worldwide are grappling with unprecedented global financial and environmental issues, here is an essential guide to measuring the things that matter.

The Idea of Justice

The Idea of Justice
The most important contribution to the subject since John Rawls'' A Theory of Justice. Sen argues that what we urgently need in our troubled world is not a theory of an ideally just state, but a theory that can yield judgments as to comparative justice, judgments that tell us when and why we are moving closer to or farther away from realizing justice in the present globalized world.

The Tacit Dimension

release date: May 01, 2009
The Tacit Dimension
"The Tacit Dimension" argues that tacit knowledge -tradition, inherited practices, implied values, and prejudgments- is a crucial part of scientific knowledge. This volume challenges the assumption that skepticism, rather than established belief, lies at the heart of scientific discovery.

Identity and Violence

release date: Sep 24, 2015
Identity and Violence
The world may be more riven by murderous violence than ever before, yet Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen argues in this sweeping philosophical work that its brutalities are driven as much by confusion as by inescapable hatred. Sen argues in his new book that conflict and violence are sustained today, no less than the past, by the illusion of a unique identity. Indeed, the world is increasingly taken to be divided between religions (or ''cultures'' or ''civilizations''), ignoring the relevance of other ways in which people see themselves through class, gender, profession, language, literature, science, music, morals or politics, and denying the real possibilities of reasoned choices. In Identity and Violence he overturns such stereotypes as the ''the monolithic Middle East'' or ''the Western Mind''. Through his penetrating investigation of such subjects as multiculturalism, fundamentalism, terrorism and globalization, he brings out the need for a clear-headed understanding of human freedom and a constructive public voice in Global civil society. The world, Sen shows, can be made to move towards peace as firmly as it has recently spiralled towards war.

The Country of First Boys

release date: Jan 01, 2015
The Country of First Boys
Time and again Amartya Sen, one of the polymaths of our times, has stirred our thoughts and world-views through his writings and speeches. Intrigued by the questions of social justice and welfare, he argues, in this work, some of the fundamental issues-poverty, hunger, education,globalization, media and freedom of speech, injustice, inequality, exclusion, exploitation, etc. - we negotiate with in our day to day lives. With a passion and conviction masked by a gently persuasive style and characterised by an undogmatic engagement with differing points of view, Sen asserts that public policy should swing sharply towards the poor, the illiterate, and those suffering from ill health and malnourishment, and does so notjust by appealing to justice and compassion but by relying on rigorous intellectual and academic analysis. Written in non-technical and easy to understand language, this volume would open a window to the ideas of an internationally renowned Nobel laureate to a wide spectrum of readers.

Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (Issues of Our Time)

release date: Feb 17, 2007
Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (Issues of Our Time)
“One of the few world intellectuals on whom we may rely to make sense out of our existential confusion.”—Nadine Gordimer In this sweeping philosophical work, Amartya Sen proposes that the murderous violence that has riven our society is driven as much by confusion as by inescapable hatred. Challenging the reductionist division of people by race, religion, and class, Sen presents an inspiring vision of a world that can be made to move toward peace as firmly as it has spiraled in recent years toward brutality and war.

Sunlight and Other Fears

release date: Aug 28, 2015
Sunlight and Other Fears
Intrigued by the questions of social justice and welfare, Amartya Sen argues, in this book, some of the vital issues-poverty, hunger, education, globalization, media and freedom of speech, injustice, inequality, exclusion, exploitation, etc. - we negotiate with in our day to day lives.

Civil Paths to Peace

release date: Jan 01, 2007
Civil Paths to Peace
This report examines the issues of terrorism, extremism, conflict and violence, which are much in ascendancy and afflict Commonwealth countries as well as the rest of the world, and considers methods of countering disaffection and violence through civil means.

Rationality and Freedom

release date: Mar 30, 2004
Rationality and Freedom
Rationality and freedom are among the most profound and contentious concepts in philosophy and the social sciences. In this, the first of two volumes, Amartya Sen brings clarity and insight to these difficult issues.

Escaping the Poverty Trap

Escaping the Poverty Trap
Basing their discussions on the concept of "intergenerational transmission of poverty"--the "process by which poor parents pass on poverty and disadvantage to their children," in the words of editor Moran (until recently a senior economist with the International Development Bank''s Sustainable Development Department)--five essays reflect on political, philosophical, social, and other dimensions of investing in early childhood in Latin America. The essays include Amartya Sen''s discussion of early childhood investment within the context of the overall development process, as well explorations of the relationship between health, nutrition, and cognitive and social dimensions of poverty; the impact of early childhood investment on economic growth and equity; and the role of the state in marshalling resources for early childhood investment. Distributed by Johns Hopkins U. Press. Annotation : 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com).

Rationality And Freedom (Oip)

release date: Oct 07, 2005

Delivering the Monterrey Consensus, which Consensus?

release date: Jan 01, 2002
Delivering the Monterrey Consensus, which Consensus?
The Economic Paper series is designed to bring to public attention crucial economic issues which are of concern to developing countries. In recent years the series has examined issues such as the instability of capital flows, the position of small states in the global economy, the implications of new trade agreements, agriculture and food security, money laundering and the reform of global financial arrangements. The publications are readable and aimed at academics, policymakers, students and people with a general interest in understanding these topical issues.This publication is a follow-on from the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development. The Monterrey Conference achieved a significant breakthrough in mobilising commitment on the part of key donors and developing countries to advance the development agenda. These commitments have been (at least partially) built upon at the recent G8 Summit and the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Monterrey Consensus requires effective follow-up on the part of donors, developing countries and international financial institutions. This publication is based on the Special Theme of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Meeting “Delivering the Millennium Development Goals” held in London, September 2002. Prof. Sen raises some “uncomfortable issues” regarding the soundness of the Monterrey consensus and the need for more inclusive and “interactive encounters” on the basic approach chosen. Ministers are warned that delivering the consensus “will demand from them more than simple midwifery”. This paper includes the report of Civil Society Consultations as an appendix.

Amartya Sen on Kerala

release date: Jan 01, 2000
Amartya Sen on Kerala
Comprises excerpts of his writings on Kerala.

Resources, Values and Development

release date: Jan 01, 1997
Resources, Values and Development
Resources, Values and Development contains many of Amartya Sen''s path-breaking contributions to development economics, including papers on resource allocation in nonwage systems, shadow pricing, employment policy, welfare economics, poverty assessment, gender-based inequality, and hunger and famines.
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