Ability approach and justice in the organsation of scienceLike the university in its diversity strategy , the GGG combines the intersectional perspective with the empowerment approach. Both approaches assume that the interaction of different diversity dimensions or starting positions plays a crucial role in achieving personal and/or societal goals. These approaches do not remain on the purely descriptive level, rather they outline factors and possibilities for realising a more just society and thus a "good life". In both approaches, the next step is to actively promote positive factors and to mitigate or eliminate the effect of negative factors (Bührmann / Schmidt 2014: 39).
Empowerment approach: origins and goals
The Capability Approach is a theoretical concept developed for the United Nations by philosopher Martha Nussbaum and Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen, among others, to measure individual and societal welfare. As a multidimensional approach, it is not limited to economic aspects, but assumes that a "good life" in the sense of a humanistic, intercultural and Aristotelian understanding can only be realised in the interplay of individual wealth and institutional framework conditions (Sen 2010, Nussbaum 1998).
Relation to higher education and the education system
For example, in relation to the higher education and science context, the approach examines the extent to which the concrete design of an education system promotes or hinders a self-determined life and the best possible realisation for a person (Sen 2010: 47). These realisation opportunities include the possibilities and comprehensive abilities of people to lead a life for which they could decide with good reasons and which does not call into question the foundations of self-respect (Sen 2000: 29). Capabilities are based on the resources available in each case and are determined by how people deal with and access them (Lessmann 2007). On the one hand, the empowerment approach can be used to examine social inequality(ies). On the other hand, it can help to develop objectives for social change towards more educational equity, to formulate concrete demands on society and to monitor their achievement.
Empowerment approach and doctoral studies
For the supervision of doctoral students, the orientation towards the empowerment approach offers a suitable starting point for shaping (doctoral) conditions in a way that recognises the diversity of doctoral students and enables all doctoral students to fully develop their abilities as they see fit. This includes both the design of framework conditions and the individual support of doctoral researchers. Very few doctoral graduates become scientists, others use the problem-solving skills acquired during the doctorate and the doctoral title for career advancement, while others initially gain further qualifications during the doctorate but then choose other paths without a degree. All possible paths before, during and after the doctorate are associated with qualification needs and decisions that should be shaped as far as possible without social exclusion on the basis of abilities and development potential, inclinations and opportunities. The orientation towards the empowerment approach and the consideration of diversity or social factors does not mean that achievements or commitment lose importance. Rather, the empowerment approach strives to provide all doctoral researchers with the necessary support to develop to the best of their abilities, in order to achieve fairer competition for the best performances.
Equity approach vs. equality approach
The equity approach serves to reduce preferential treatment and disadvantage in equal measure. It assumes that equity is achieved by giving people different support according to their individual needs in order to be able to develop fully. Ideally, structural barriers are removed in the long term so that additional support is not necessary. This connection is shown in this figure as an example for physical conditions in the context of cycling in comparison with the equality approach.