The employability approach, which influenced the debate on social policy reform in Europe during the last two decades, focuses on the investment in human capital as a means to individual empowerment and to solve social problems such as unemployment, exclusion and inequality. It is argued that employability is both insufficient - in respect of its declared aims - and distorting because it suffers from a narrow economic vision of society. Employability is criticized using Amartya Sen’s capability approach, which is argued to provide a better framework to make the welfare state truly enabling. In particular, the paper discusses how the capability approach can broaden the anthropology at the basis of social policies beyond that of human capital characterizing employability, thus extending the basis of social citizenship beyond individuals’ productive capacity in the market.
Keywords: Employability, human capital, capability approach, social policy