Freedom and Self-Determination

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A recent study has underlined freedom and autonomy as top concepts which embody the idea of self-determination. The latter symbolises a sign of psychological and moral well-being of both the individuals and the culture.

Bridging the concept of self-determination and the rational-choice economic theory, it is possible to say that since people compare their options and after making the comparisons, choose so as to maximise their preferences, well-being can be seen as the opportunity to maximize one’s choices from the available options. Given that, self-determination represents the “self-pursuit” of an individual’s preferences. (Schwartz, B., Self-Determination – The Tyranny of Freedom, American Psychologist, January 2000.[1])


A research project in the UK has measured freedoms across many domains for adults in the UK using the capabilities approach to human welfare devised by Amartya Sen, the Nobel Laureate. A reference to this work can be found at Anand P, Hunter G, Carter I, Dowding K, Guala F, van Hees M, 2009, The Development of Capability Indicators, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 10 (1), 125-52.

While it may be difficult to define what is meant by Freedom and Self-Determination, we hope and encourage the extended Wiki community to give your input and opinions on these topics. Also, these two topics are related and interlinked, but can also be viewed seperately.

Freedom and autonomy on Wikigender

  • Mobility of Saudi Women – Women in Saudi Arabia are deprived of many basic rights and freedoms, but some have been working to change that. One basic freedom that women have been demanding is the ability to drive cars so that they may have more transportation choices and autonomy. Find out how Saudi Arabian women are using their self-determination to try and gain basic freedoms that are important for their daily lives.


Takayuki, M., Human Rights, the Right of Self-Determination and the Right to Freedom, The International Journal of Peace Studies. [2]

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. [3]

Self-Determination – Wikipedia. [4]

Freedom – Wikipedia. [5]

See also