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The "Social"

The Global Career of an Idea

Lutz Leisering

This special issue assembles contributions from the global North and South to inquire into the future of the “social” from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on sociology, political science and law. What does “social” mean, and do social policy and the welfare state have a future in a global age? The issue is published on the occasion of the eightieth birthday of Franz-Xaver Kaufmann, who is considered the doyen of the sociology of social policy in Germany (see his recent books, translated into English, Kaufmann 2012, 2013a, 2013b).

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Editorial

For a decade, the issue of sustainable development has been highlighted in international social policy debates and development studies. In order to ensure and increase the level of social quality, various societies struggle to achieve sustainable growth, with different policy measures in dissimilar circumstances of policy making. For some societies, including the European states, to ensure sustainability of welfare state systems is the primary task of government (especially after the financial crisis in the late 2000s), and in other cases, such as in Russia and the Southeast Asian states, economic growth (accompanied by sustainability, as is hoped) is the main concern. Several key issues are involved in this, such as sustainable economic growth, welfare finance, environmental policy and overall sustainability of society. The articles included in this issue of IJSQ touch on different aspects of the “sustainable growth” issue.

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Notice Board

The Notice Board seeks to publicise all matters relating to Sartre scholarship, most importantly publications, but also higher degrees (in progress or completed), forthcoming seminars and conferences. We are also pleased to publish conference reports and other Sartre news.

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Introduction

Samantha B. Meyer, Paul R. Ward, and Raymond K. H. Chan

It gives us great pleasure to introduce this special issue of the International Journal of Social Quality. This special issue features empirical papers from Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand. The data presented in this special issue originate from a large cross-cultural research project investigating social quality across six Asia-Pacific societies: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

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Simone de Beauvoir on Existentialist Theater

Dennis A. Gilbert

My article focuses on Le Théâtre existentialiste (Existentialist Theater) by Simone de Beauvoir, recently translated and published in the volume of the Beauvoir Series on her literary writings. The first part introduces the original sound recording of this text and the circumstances behind its possible production in New York City in 1947 and my discovery of it at Wellesley College in 1996. The second part analyzes the divisions of Beauvoir's remarks as she presents Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and their principal plays from the period of the Occupation: The Flies, No Exit, and Caligula. The third part then evaluates certain of Beauvoir's key concepts in terms of how they were able to define adequately the substance of existentialist theater for a postwar American audience and whether they remain valid for a more contemporary theatrical public some six decades later.

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Editorial

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.

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Notice Board

The Notice Board seeks to publicise all matters relating to Sartre scholarship, most importantly publications, but also higher degrees (in progress or completed), forthcoming seminars and conferences. We are also pleased to publish conference reports and other Sartre news.

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Social Quality Research in a Globalized World

An Introduction

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.

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Editorial

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.

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Notice Board

The Notice Board seeks to publicise all matters relating to Sartre scholarship, most importantly publications, but also higher degrees (in progress or completed), forthcoming seminars and conferences. We are also pleased to publish conference reports and other Sartre news.