The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

Editor: Laurent van der Maesen, International Association on Social Quality

Published in partnership with the International Association on Social Quality and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

 Available on JSTOR


Also see The European Journal of Social Quality

Latest Issue Table of Contents

IJSQ 10.2: Winter 2020

The Challenges of Brexit and COVID

A Thematic Issue about Central and Eastern European Societies
Zuzana Reptova and Laurent van der Maesen


The Curious Case of Slovakia: Regime Preferences Thirty Years after the Velvet Revolution
Zuzana Reptova Novakova

Support for a Populist Government in Poland: A Few Notes about Its Economic and Cultural Divides
Michał Gulczyński

Sociocultural Change in Hungary: A Politico-Anthropological Approach
Ferenc Bódi and Ralitsa Savova

A Mistrustful Society? The Lack of Trust in Government Institutions in the Czech Republic
Nicole Horáková

The Impact of Trust on the Quality of Participation in Development: The Case of Ukraine
Tadashi Hirai

The Impact of the Changing World Order on the Situation of Central and Eastern Europe
Gracjan Cimek

Concluding Note

Volume 11 / 2021, 2 issues per volume

Aims & Scope

The International Journal of Social Quality (formerly the European Journal of Social Quality) is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal which has a primary focus on the interpretation of social quality through a wide range of disciplines, including social policy, economics, sociology, law and legal studies, philosophy, political science, geography, health sciences, and public administration. The journal seeks to create a forum for scientists, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners to discuss issues related to social quality based on qualitative and quantitative methods, normative debate and action-oriented case studies. The journal also discusses the social quality theory and approach in comparison with other approaches such as the quality of life, social capital, human security, the capability approach, and the human development or social harmony approach. Special attention is given to global sustainability challenges addressed from the social quality and human security approach.


The International Journal of Social Quality is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI)
  • Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)
  • Current Abstracts (EBSCO)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • Geobase (Elsevier)
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers
  • Political Science Complete (EBSCO)
  • Social Sciences Abstracts (H.W. Wilson/EBSCO)
  • Social Sciences Index (H.W. Wilson/EBSCO)
  • Social Services Abstracts (CSA/ProQuest)
  • Social Work Abstracts (EBSCO)
  • Sociological Abstracts (CSA/ProQuest)
Editor: Laurent J.G. van der Maesen, International Association on Social Quality, Netherlands

Editorial Board
Ka Lin, Zhejiang University, China
Claire Wallace, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen, UK
Des Gasper, International Institute of Social StudiesErasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Chen Guangjin, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Ren Liying, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Harry Nijhuis, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Li Wei, Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Zuzana Reptova Novakova, International Institute of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Tim Cadman, Griffith University, Australia

Editorial Team
Bas van der Horst (managing editor), International Association on Social Quality, Netherlands
Cui Yan (managing assistant), Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

International Advisory Committee
Alan Walker (Chair), University of Sheffield, UK
Li Peilin (Vice-Chair), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Jan Berting, em., Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Vyacheslav Bobkov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Tony Bradley, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Steve Corbett, Liverpool Hope University, UK
William Darrow, Florida International University, USA
Eric Fong, The University of Hong Kong, HK
Renato Fontana, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Ananta Kumar Giri, Madras Institute of Development Studies, India
David Gordon, University of Bristol, UK
Erika K. Gubrium, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Rolf Dieter Hepp, Free University Berlin, Germany
Peter Herrmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Law & Social Policy, Germany
Valerly Heyets, Ukraine National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
Stein Kuhnle, University of Bergen, Norway
Huck-ju Kwon, Seoul National University, South Korea
Lutz Leisering, University of Bielefeld, Germany
Ota de Leonardis, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Mario Ivan Lopez, Kyoto University, Japan
Yi Pan, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Sony Pellissery, National Law School of India University, India
Heloísa Perista, CESIS, Portugal
Maria Petmesidou, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Marco Ricceri, EURISPES, Italy
Péter Róbert, TÁRKI Social Research Institute, Hungary
Jorma Sipilä, University of Tampere, Finland
Aleksandr Ivanovich Subetto, Noospheric Social Academy of Sciences, Russia
Göran Therborn, University of Cambridge, UK
Johannes M. Waldmüller, FLACSO Sede Ecuador, Edcuador
Paul R. Ward, Flinders University, Australia
Judith Wolf, Radboud university medical centre, Netherlands
Susann Worschech, European University Viadrina, Germany


Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting.

Those wishing to submit articles should send them to the managing editor, Bas van der Horst, along with complete contact information, at

All contributions are externally refereed by scholars of international repute. Contributors can expect to be satisfactorily apprised of the progress of their manuscripts.

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Ethics Statement

Authors published in The International Journal of Social Quality (IJSQ) certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews, and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions, or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete IJSQ ethics statement.

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The Social Consequences of Brexit for the UK and Europe

Euroscepticism, Populism, Nationalism, and Societal Division

Author: Steve Corbett


This article examines the 2016 Referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union and draws on initial research into the reasons that the UK voted to leave and demographics of the leave vote. This initial analysis suggests that the Brexit (British Exit) vote reveals wider and deeper societal tensions along the lines of age, class, income, and education (). By providing an account of the background and events of the referendum, this article asserts that the vote was a case study in populist right-wing Eurosceptic discourse (; ), but it also reveals strong elements of English nationalism (including British exceptionalism and social conservatism) in parts of British society (; ). Given this, the article begins to make sense of Brexit from a social quality perspective and outlines a possible social quality approach to the UK and Europe post-Brexit.

Welfare after Growth

Theoretical Discussion and Policy Implications

Author: Max Koch

The article discusses approaches to welfare under no-growth conditions and against the background of the growing significance of climate change as a socio-ecological issue. While most governments and scholars favor “green deal” solutions for tackling the climate crisis, a growing number of discussants are casting doubt on economic growth as the answer to it and have provided empirical evidence that the prospects for globally decoupling economic growth and carbon emissions are very low indeed. These doubts are supported by recent contributions on happiness, well-being and alternative measures of measuring prosperity, which indicate that individual and social welfare is by no means equivalent to GDP growth. If the requirements of prosperity and welfare go well beyond material sustenance, then approaches that aim to conceptualize welfare under the circumstances of a “stable state economy” become more relevant. A qualitatively different environmental and welfare policy governance network would need to integrate the redistribution of carbon emissions, work, time, income and wealth. Since social policies will be necessary to address the emerging inequalities and conflicts, this article considers the roles that the various “no-growth” approaches dedicate to social policy and welfare instruments.

The Theatre of Human Trafficking

A Global Discourse on Lao Stages

Author: Roy Huijsmans

Using the Lao PDR as a case study, this paper analyses human trafficking as discourse. Human trafficking is identified as a global discourse that is globalized through a set of powerful relations and actors. Following Appadurai, it is argued that this global discourse is not passively received by local actors such as the Lao state. This demonstrated by unravelling the global–local interactions through which it has entered the Lao social landscape. This is complemented with an analysis of a series of events in which the human trafficking discourse is staged on Lao soil. On this basis, the paper argues that the global human trafficking discourse is actively indigenized through, amongst other things, the social practice of staging. In addition, the paper argues that this indigenized discourse is employed by actors in more localized power struggles; in this case, by the Lao state as a response to boundary crises triggered by the phenomenon of cross-border migration into Thailand as an important manifestation of the overarching process of transition.

Author: Claire Wallace

Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) open up the possibility of new forms of relationship and engagement, which form part of the sociality of modern society, leading some to characterize this as a transition to an "information society", a "network society", or a "third industrial revolution". This has implications for Social Quality, especially in terms of social cohesion, social inclusion and social empowerment. Drawing upon recent research we find that ICTs have added new dimensions to social life in ways that go beyond the original formulations of the digital divide. Conversely, Social Quality can also add important insights into our understanding of the relationship between society and technology. The article argues that discussions of Social Quality should take these dimensions into account.

A Legitimate Freedom Approach to Sustainability

Sen, Scanlon and the Inadequacy of the Human Development Index

Author: Andrew Crabtree

Although the capability approach has had a tremendous impact on the development debate, it has had little to say about sustainable development. As several Human Development Reports have maintained, the last twenty years' gains in human development are not sustainable. The failure to include an integrate sustainability into the Human Development Index would thus give the wrong policy message. Drawing on the works of Amartya Sen and Thomas Scanlon, this article argues that sustainable development can be seen as a process of increasing legitimate freedoms, the freedoms that others cannot reasonably reject. Thus, Sen's vision of development as freedom is amended to suggest limits to freedoms. Forms of development which are not sustainable can be reasonably rejected due, at least, to the harm and blighting entailed. Based on this, it is argued that at country level of comparison the Human Development Index should be combined with the Ecological Footprint to reflect sustainability, and that the Human Development Reports should give way to Sustainable Development Reports.