A Multilevel Approach to Measuring Social Capacity in a European Context

in The International Journal of Social Quality

The focus of this article’s research was to measure and compare the social capacity, social quality, quality of life, and subjective well-being of four Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) and four postsocialist countries known as the Visegrád Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) in order to analyze similarities and differences. The analysis was conducted utilizing both micro and macro approaches. On the micro level, four new complex indicators were developed from the social well-being model of the 2012 European Social Survey, based on the social quality approach, while the macrolevel analysis consisted of indicators from the Eurostat Regions database and the 2011 population census. The analysis demonstrates that using complex indicators and combining a micro-macro approach can complement each other, bringing about an understanding of nuances and subtle differences not found in singular approaches and creating a more accurate assessment of the social quality in local, city, and national levels of society.