Well-Being and Beyond
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Well-Being and Beyond

Broadening the Public and Policy Discourse

Edited by Timo J. Hämäläinen and Juliet Michaelson

This book will broaden the public and policy discourse on the importance of well-being by examining psychological, social, environmental, economic, organizational, institutional and political determinants of individual well-being.
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Chapter 14: Practical models for well-being-oriented policy

Juliet Michaelson


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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