Broadening the Public and Policy Discourse
Edited by Timo J. Hämäläinen and Juliet Michaelson
Chapter 14: Practical models for well-being-oriented policy
The 'how' of policy delivery is as important as - or even trumps - the 'what' of policy initiatives. This is what John Helliwell contends in his contribution to this volume (Helliwell, this volume, Chapter 5). While 'trumping' is a bold claim, many of this book's chapters have emphasized the importance of the way things are done in promoting, for example, coherence, relatedness, meaning, reasonableness, positive challenge and therefore, ultimately, well-being (see Hämäläinen, this volume, Chapter 2; Eriksson and Lindström, this volume, Chapter 3; Basu et al., this volume, Chapter 7; Flint-Taylor and Cooper, this volume, Chapter 9). This does not mean downplaying the importance of the 'what'. This volume's contributions also highlight evidence that decisions made within areas such as macroeconomic policy, urban planning and advertising regulations are likely to have impacts on population well-being (see Helliwell, this volume, Chapter 5; Bartolini, this volume, Chapter 6; Basu et al., this volume, Chapter 7; Seaford, this volume, Chapter 8). Policy makers should pay serious attention to this and to similar evidence from the field of well-being research. Increasingly, summaries of this evidence are being produced specifically for a policy audience (for example, Dolan et al. 2006; Diener et al. 2009; Stoll et al. 2012). As Geoff Mulgan argues, such evidence does not guarantee positive impacts of any particular policy initiative that it inspires (Mulgan, this volume, Chapter 11).
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