The social quality theory developed over a decade has run into new subject areas of discussion in accordance with the changed international climate of academic debates. Ten years ago, the main focus of these debates was located on the themes of welfare state vs. welfare society, social policy vs. economic policy, and the individual concerns vs. “the social”; the continuous work on the foundation of this theory has led to new issues including sustainability, social innovation, and urban development entering the debate. With regard to the sustainability issue, for instance, the Rio conference of 2012 on human sustainability offered a global forum for experts and policymakers to analyze societal trends and related challenges. These developments provide a new driving force for the social quality theory to move into new directions. This issue of IJSQ includes several articles that reflect this development.
Social Quality Research in a Globalized World
Ka Lin, Des Gasper, and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen
In the current globalized world, societal trends, problems, and challenges come not only from national states but also from beyond. These trends, problems, and challenges include international migration, human traffi cking, pandemics such as HIV, environmental pollution, and terrorism, presenting risks for the progress of human society and for world peace. Therefore, they are, or should be, subject to forms of global governance. This issue of the International Journal of Social Quality includes several papers to discuss these issues as important topics in social quality studies.
Ka Lin, Laurent J.G. van der Maesen, Des Gasper, and Dan Mao
This first issue of the International Journal of Social Quality is a new launch and is at the same time the continuation of the former European Journal of Social Quality. The European journal came into existence in 1999 and six volumes were published in the period up to 2006: twelve issues in total. The aim was to develop a new theoretical framework to analyze social realities in European societies and consider their policy implications. The European Journal sought to broaden the scope of understanding about citizens’ well-being and to interpret how the constitution of society and its various component institutional arrangements affect social quality and personal welfare from a new perspective.