Preface; Valerie Møller and Denis Huschka. Introduction: An Overview of the Larger View; Alex C. Michalos. 1. European Survey Data: Rich Sources for Quality of Life Research; Heinz-Herbert Noll. 2. Two decades of Social Weather Reporting in the Philippines; Mahar Mangahas and Linda Luz B. Guerrero. 3. Monitoring Democratic Politics, a Market Economy, and Citizin Well-being: the South-Korea Barometer; Doh Chull-Shin. 4. Measuring Quality of Life in Latin America: Some Insights from Happiness Economics and the Latinobarometro; Carol Graham. 5. Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic (SliCA); Jack Kruse, Birger Poppel, Larissa Abryutina, Gerard Duhaime, Stephanie Martin, Mariekathrine Poppel, Margaret Kruse, Ed Ward, Patricia Cochran, and Virgene Hanna. 6. Quality of Life Down-Under: the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index; Robert A. Cummins, David Mellor, Mark A. Stokes, and Anna A.L.D. Lau. 7. The Material and Political Bases of Lived Poverty: Insights from the Afrobarometer; Robert Mattes. 8. The AsiaBarometer: Its Aim, its Scope and its Development; Takashi Inoguchi and Seiji Fujii.
Quality of life (QOL) research has made great strides since the social indicator movement started as a scientific enterprise in the 1960s. Following the lead of pioneers in North America and Europe, social scientists in other regions of the world have adopted and refined social data systems or barometers to monitor progress in enhancing the welfare and well-being of citizens. A distinctive feature of these barometers is that they measure both individual and societal quality of life. While not overlooking the more basic needs and material standards of living, the barometers also inform on issues of individual freedoms and choices and constraints on citizen empowerment that enhance and depress quality of life. Designed to capture nuances in local definitions of the good life, regional barometers are unique expressions of the obstacles facing different societies in their quest to achieve the good life. Scholars of public policy as well as policy makers will find inspiration from reviews of innovative initiatives to monitor contemporary quality of life in six regions of the world spanning South America, the Arctic, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Gives an overview of the literature on social barometers currently in use
Provides a global overview of the most important social indicators studies
The case studies cite substantive examples of social trends