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Indicators of Social Quality

Outcomes for Belgium

Veerle de Maesschalck

In presenting social quality indicators for Belgium, we have confined ourselves to explaining the national situation concerning these indicators without reflecting on the theory of social quality itself or the broader theoretical framework. When considering social quality from a Belgian perspective, it is important to keep the national context in mind and this is covered in Part I of this article. Part II focuses on the outcomes of social quality indicators, with the findings presented by domain, rather than by component (security, cohesion, inclusion, empowerment). An example of good practice in the context of social quality is provided in Part III, illustrating how the Belgian system of individual work time reduction embodies elements of each of the four components. Finally, we conclude this article by illustrating how Belgium performs in terms of social quality.

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Indicators of Social Quality

Outcomes of the European Scientific Network

Laurent J.G. van der Maesen and Alan C. Walker

In October 2001, the Network Indicators of Social Quality started the process of creating social quality indicators. This project of the European Foundation on Social Quality was supported by the European Commission (DG Research) under Framework Programme 5 (van der Maesen et al. 2000). The Network consisted of representatives of universities from 14 partner countries and two European NGOs. Over its forty-two-month life the Network held four meetings. Three plenary meetings were organised with all assistants thanks to the financial support by the Dutch Scientific Foundation (NWO). Also through the creation of unique national reference groups on social quality, the Network has engaged more than a hundred scientists and policy makers in its work. The project was completed in April 2005. The intriguing question was how to theoretically legitimise the choice of social quality indicators compared to the indicators constructed in the context of 'quality of life' approaches, as developed for example by ZUMA of the University of Mannheim (Noll 2000; Berger-Schmit et al. 2000) and the European Foundation on the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions in Dublin (Fahey et al. 2002).

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Performing compliance with development indicators

Brokerage and transnational governance in aid partnerships

Jon Harald S. Lie

Drawing on a semi‐autoethnography of a development project in northern Ethiopia, this article engages the role and power of indicators in the development sector. It both demonstrates and questions the power usually ascribed indicators when seen as an authoritative bureaucratic tool, while also showing how actors – and I was one of them – at various levels of the aid chain merely perform compliance with the indicators as a way to manage new and externally imposed demands. As the indicators ‘travel’ from the top, through the aid chain’s multiple nodes, to the level of beneficiaries, they convey policy priorities top‐down, but are seemingly complied with bottom‐up, demonstrating both their formative power and the scope for brokerage and manipulation of externally imposed policies. Interestingly, this form of brokerage and reactivity from below are also enabled and orchestrated by the top, i.e. by the same actors who conveyed the indicators, to maintain and reproduce aid relations.

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Public Evaluation of Society in China

The Social Quality Approach

Ren Liying and Zou Yuchin

, equal value, and human dignity ( Van der Maesen and Walker 2012 ). The conditional factors can be measured by indicators and constitutes an empirical benchmark for evaluating a society. An even important role in society is played by the changes of the

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A Crystal Ball for Forests?

Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term

Daniel C. Miller, Pushpendra Rana, and Catherine Benson Wahlén

International conservation and development policy is awash in indicators. In 2000, the eight United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals included 18 targets with 60 indicators ( UN 2008 ). Fifteen years later, the UN’s 2030 Agenda for

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Introduction

Measuring Kinship, Negotiating Belonging

Tatjana Thelen and Christof Lammer

importance of kinship measurements undertheorized. Drawing the fragmented insights together, we trace how various substances, traits, and practices are turned into indicators of kinship, how measurement units are created, and how results are made effective

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‘Credit Is a Basket’

On the Inclusion of Blood Donation in China's Social Credit System

Qiuyu Jiang and Rachel Douglas-Jones

officials. In the city studied by Chuncheng Liu and Akos Rona-Tas, numbers are produced from a ‘messy aggregation of handpicked indicators’ (2021: 19; see also Kopper and Duarte in this issue) which they count at almost 400 (2021: 19). The resulting

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Governing by numbers

Audit culture, rankings and the new world order

Cris Shore and Susan Wright

Quantification and statistics have long served as instruments of governance and state power. However, in recent decades new systems of measurement and rankings have emerged that operate both beyond and below the nation‐state. Using contemporary examples, we explore how international measurements, rankings, risk management and audit are creating new forms of global governmentality. We ask, who – or what – is driving the spread of audit technologies and why have indicators and rankings become a populist project? How should we theorise the rise of measuring, ranking and auditing and their political effects? What are the impacts of these ever‐more pervasive systems on organisational behaviour and professional life?

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Culturally Grounded Indicators of Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems

Eleanor Sterling, Tamara Ticktin, Tē Kipa Kepa Morgan, Georgina Cullman, Diana Alvira, Pelika Andrade, Nadia Bergamini, Erin Betley, Kate Burrows, Sophie Caillon, Joachim Claudet, Rachel Dacks, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Chris Filardi, Nadav Gazit, Christian Giardina, Stacy Jupiter, Kealohanuiopuna Kinney, Joe McCarter, Manuel Mejia, Kanoe Morishige, Jennifer Newell, Lihla Noori, John Parks, Pua’ala Pascua, Ashwin Ravikumar, Jamie Tanguay, Amanda Sigouin, Tina Stege, Mark Stege, and Alaka Wali

sustaining environmental health and community well-being in the face of environmental, social, and economic change ( Fazey et al. 2011 ; Folke et al. 2003 ). Here we present case studies on locally grounded indicators of resilience that include both social

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Systematic Review of Recent Social Indicator Efforts in US Coastal and Ocean Ecosystems (2000–2016)

Victoria C. Ramenzoni and David Yoskowitz

The demand for social indicators has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. Hurricanes Sandy, Ike, and Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have shown important gaps in how institutions prepare and respond to extreme events. The