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Happiness as a Valuation of Nations: From Margin to Indicator
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT. (Digital resources and aservices)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5196-7148
University of Gothenburg.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1577-3570
2016 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper traces how subjective measures of welfare were transformed from a marginal issue in the social sciences to a valuation of welfare of nations. The co-production of social science and politics is analysed in a case study of negotiations of subjective and objective indicators in Sweden.

Since the 1970s social scientists have strived towards finding a replacement for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of welfare in nations. Over the years, various political actors have attempted to make such measurements comply with their ideas of what constitutes a good society. This paper traces the co-production of social scientific knowledge and the political process of attempting to establish a new standardized way of measuring welfare in Sweden.

As GDP and other purely economic indicators have dominated how value is ascribed to nations, the various attempts of challenging this form of measurement have taken place at the margins of the social sciences. However, during the past two decades, the negotiations of finding alternative measures of welfare have dramatically moved forward their positions, entering mainstream science and politics.

Drawing from a variety of source documents (political proposals, influential reports, mass media accounts and scientific literature), this article connects and analyses multiple modes of veridiction that are the subjects of controversies and negotiations in the construction of a proposed valuemeter of welfare in Sweden. As a result, we show how two major social scientific conceptions of welfare measurements, based either on subjective or objective indicators, relate (without being reduced) to political proposals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Barcelona: CCIB , 2016.
Keyword [en]
happiness, qualitative citation analysis, Actor-Network analysis, ANT
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-10715OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-10715DiVA: diva2:971973
Conference
4S/EASST Conference, Barcelona, August 31-September 3, 2016
Projects
Samproduktionen av samhällsvetenskap och samhälle: exemplet lyckoforskning
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-09-19 Created: 2016-09-19 Last updated: 2016-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Nelhans, GustafKullenberg, Christopher
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf