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Rethinking Human Development and/as Human Security for the Anthropocene

An Analysis of the United Nations Development Programme Trilogy of Reports 2020–2022

Des Gasper


Three recent reports from the United Nations Development Programme reconsider human development thinking and revive UN human security thinking: the 2020 Human Development Report (HDR 2020); the 2022 Special Report (SR 2022) on human security; and the 2021/2022 Human Development Report (HDR 2022). The trilogy marks an overdue return to human security thinking. HDR 2020 builds a sense of common human fate, employing the notion of the Anthropocene. SR 2022 adds a diagnostic stress on growing subjective insecurities and a prescriptive stress on solidarity. HDR 2022 explores the escalating felt insecurities, their drivers, and possible responses. It attempts to integrate and extend the other two reports; most of HDR 2020's components and themes recur, but in more mature forms and enriched by perspectives and tools from SR 2022. The present article lays a basis for reconsideration of similarities, differences, and possible complementarities between human development and human security approaches and the social quality approach.

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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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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.