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Evolutionary Thermodynamics and Theory of Social Quality as Links between Physics, Biology, and the Human Sciences

Jaap Westbroek, Harry Nijhuis, and Laurent van der Maesen

unity. Particular attention is given to the interdependent dialectical character of processes in societies between humans and (evolving) levels of societal organization. We propose that the theory of social quality, both in ontological and

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Editorial

Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

This issue is dedicated to two general topics that play a central role in social quality thinking and its policy application. The first is how to sharpen the social quality approach (SQA) as an intellectual instrument to understand the nature and

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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: Actual politics and the need of conceptual clarity

Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

characteristics of the social quality approach which also are relevant for this editorial ( IASQ 2019 ). In the fall of 2019, the new European Commission ( EC 2019/a ) also clearly said in its document about the European Green Deal that it would propose and

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Editorial

Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

Societal Aspects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Introduction During the preparation of this issue of the International Journal of Social Quality , the authors were confronted with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event thoroughly

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Concluding Remarks

A “Social Quality Observatory” for Central and Eastern European Countries?

Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

The Amsterdam Declaration on Social Quality, 1997 More than twenty years ago many European scholars started with the development of a new theory and its application with a declaration, the first paragraph of which follows here: Respect for

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Editorial

Social Quality, Environmental Challenges, and Indicators

Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

The first three articles of this issue are dedicated to aspects of the current debate about and the praxis of environmental questions, and thus of the ecosystems. The fourth article concerns the application of social quality indicators in China. The gaining hypothesis is that a disconnection of the social quality approach of daily circumstances in Japan, Russia, China, Europe, the Americas, Africa, or India from environmental processes results into anachronisms. Without a global consciousness of the unequal consequences of these environmental processes, people in rich countries may be tempted to positively judge the nature of the social quality of their localities or country “as such.” Unknown remains that, seen from a global perspective, macrodetermined reasons for the positive outcomes in rich countries may go at the expense of ecosystems. They may cause, also because of the exportation of substantial elements of problematic (and partly environmental) aspects of the dominant production and reproduction relationships, serious forms of exploitation. Under the same conditions (ceteris paribus), this attack on ecosystems, as well as this exportation and exploitation cause increasingly declining social quality of daily circumstances in poor countries and regions. This will also result into an increase of “climate refugees.” Because of advancing technologically driven transformations—especially regarding communications systems—the interdependencies of countries between the West and the East, as well as between the North and the South, accelerate. Autarkic situations are becoming, or have already been for a long time, a myth.

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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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Pathways to Empowerment

The Social Quality Approach as a Foundation for Person-Centered Interventions

Judith R. L. M. Wolf and Irene E. Jonker

Goscha 2012 ). From its start, the social quality approach (SQA) has been the theoretical framework to structure and ground PTE for its use in daily practice as well as for its implementation training courses. The SQA proved particularly useful in

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The Curious Case of Slovakia

Regime Preferences Thirty Years after the Velvet Revolution

Zuzana Reptova Novakova

, this article sets to explore some of the developments in Slovak society through the lens of social quality. Highlighting the links between the malaise with liberal democracy and aspects of social quality ( Van der Maesen and Walker 2012 ) or “decent