International Journal on Social Quality

Current issue

Volume 7 • Issue 1 • 2017

The latest issue of the International Journal of Social Quality is available from Berghahn Journals. The Journal is published in print and online.

About this issue

From the Editorial: “As Peter Herrmann reminds us in the fourth article of this issue, we currently face societal abundance versus increasing inequality of access. . . .  This trend will not only determine the chances for processes resulting in sustainable urban development all over the globe, but also the main challenge of the development toward overall sustainability of human existence on earth. . . . All topics discussed in this issue cannot be disconnected from this main trend.”
This issue of the journal contains contributions from authors who inspire us to think about the important themes of our time. They do so from various backgrounds and points of view, but they always focus on development towards a just and sustainable future. You will find that the authors cover topics that range from the foundations of accounting to the poetics of development.



Earlier issues

 Volume 6 • Issue 2 • 2016/2017

About this issue

This issue is dedicated to the outcomes of the research project “Poverty and Shame: Perspectives and Practices Concerning Anti-poverty Measures in a Global Context” and funded by the Research Council of Norway. Erika Gubrium and Sony Pellissery, partners on the project, present a series of articles with emergent findings from five cases of service provision interactions between antipoverty measure providers and recipients, namely in China, India, Norway, Uganda, and the United States. The project focused on professional practices at the level of everyday interaction and the impact of service delivery on those receiving antipoverty measures. The article authors are especially focused on two issues: First, if antipoverty measures cause deep feelings of shame or may be “shame proofed,” and second, if they mitigate or stimulate feelings of dignity.



Volume 6 • Issue 1 • 2016/2017

About this issue


In the first article of this issue, Steve Corbett examines the 2016 Referendum on the United Kingdom’s (UK) European Union (EU) membership. The author presents the outcome of the referendum, the British Exit (Brexit), as a new EU phenomenon with implications that go beyond the UK’s relationship with the EU. It is an expression of the wider rise of right- and left-wing populism across Europe, including the Freedom Party of Austria and the Netherlands, Front National, Podemos, and Syriza political parties. These parties and their outriders articulate popular anger—among right-wing populists, anger at the perceived preferences given to some minority groups (e.g., immigrants) over others. However, both right- and left-wing populists express anger about disconnected and gilded political elites, about the privatization of profit, and about the socialization of risk for financial institutions and major corporations.


Volume 5 • Issue 2 • 2015 / 2016

About this issue

The latest issue of the International Journal of Social Quality is available from Berghahn Journals. A substantial part of the content focuses on the consequences of the Paris Climate Conference of December 2015 and the essential role of the social quality view in obtaining its goals.

treetopwalklongThe publishers provided a free download of an article that highlights this point. The article is about the Western Australian deforestation, notwithstanding the impressive defence by community groups during the past decades.

Another case highlighted by the Journal is the accent by Ecuador on human development as to be understood in an ‘ecosystematic and intergenerational’ way (and the application of ‘eco-related’ indicators to adequately conceive human development). Both cases form examples that help interpret the outcomes of the Paris conference. This issue of the Journal may be considered a follow-up to the sustainability manifesto published by IASQ and ISS on occasion of this conference.

Topics include

  • A study on the nature of and connection between human development, human rights and environmental governance.
  • The current failure to control the spread of HIV disease in the United States, related to ignoring “the social”.
  • Deforestation and the need for independent research by universities to support environmental groups and local communities.
  • Ignoring societal costs in determining prices of commodities.
  • The imbalance of the wealth division as a factor that undermines sustainable development of the living conditions on earth.
  • What should be the legal obligations for large business groups in regard to the dialectic between societal relationships and ecological circumstances of human life.

Read the full editorial.


  • Editorial
  • “Living Well Rather Than Living Better”: 7 Measuring Biocentric Human-Nature Rights and Human–Nature Development in Ecuador
    M. Waldmüller
  • The Decline and Disorganization of Public Health 29 in the United States: Social Implications
    William W. Darrow
  • Sustainable Forest Management: The Role of 46 Government Agencies, NGOs, and Local
Communities in Western Australia
Leonie van der Maesen and Timothy Cadman
  • Measuring the Sustainability Performance of 62 Our Decisions: The Best Practice Price
Sustainability Metrics
    H.J. (Huub) Lenders
  • Social Justice through Enterprises: The End of the 81 1972/1973 Conjuncture? A Legal Perspective
    Hagen Henrÿ

 Volume 5 • Issue 1 • 2015

From the editorial

“In this issue the tension between economic politics and policies and the role and meaning of other dimensions of societies is central. As Anna Coote remarks, there are no signs either of any sufficient move in this mainstream economics to decouple production from greenhouse emissions by switching to zero-carbon energy sources. Similarly, Gro Harlem Brundtland, who led the famous Report on ‘Our Common Future’ (UN-Commission, 1987), observed that “governments are currently refusing to make the transformative changes needed to resolve the global sustainability crisis” (Brundtland, 2012). Is this a question of ‘refusing’ or also of being victimized by the traditional supposed duality between ‘the economic’ and ‘the social’, which paves the way for uncontrolled financial-economic processes for the accumulation of profit?”

Read the full editorial.


  • Editorial
  • People, Planet, Power: Toward a New Social Settlement
    Anna Coote
  • The Moral Economy of Digital Gifts
    Dave Elder-Vass
  • Conditions for Social Entrepreneurship
    Bert Helmsing
  • An Analysis of Social Capital Generation among Coalfield Residents in Harlan County, Kentucky
    Feng Hao
  • Methodology for Setting a Mexican User Satisfaction Index for Social Programs
    Odette Lobato-Calleros, Humberto Rivera, Hugo Serrato, María Elena Gómez, Ignacio Méndez Ramírez
  • Seventeen Sightings of the “Social” in Economic Development Policy Writing
    Raymond Apthorpe

 Volume 4 • Issue 2 • 2014

In this issue of the journal each of the articles considers one of the approaches of Social Quality, Human Security and the Human development approach addressing a societal issue: governance, coping with crises, the rejection of state-proffered entitlements or provisions, the Greek crisis, or innovation. This confrontation with a societal issue provides a better understanding of the approach in question, and contributes to its testing and enrichment.


  • Editorial
  • Human Security Analysis as a Framework for Value-Oriented Governance: The Example of Climate Change

Des Gasper

  •  What Can the Human Development Approach Tell Us about Crisis? An Exploration

Oscar A. Gómez

  •  Social Quality Indicators in Times of Crisis: The Case of Greece

Konstantinos G. Kougias

  • From Entitlements to Provisions – and Back

 Ton Korver

  •  Investing in Workplace Innovation Pays Off for SMEs: A Regional Innovation Initiative from the Netherlands

Peter Oeij, Ernest de Vroome, Astrid Bolland, Rob Gründemann and Lex van Teeffelen


 Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 2014

According to the current social quality work, the four relevant dimensions of societal circumstances, overall sustainability and sustainable urban development are socio-political, socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-environmental. This issue of the International Journal of Social Quality especially looks at aspects of the socio-political and socio-cultural dimensions of sustainability in social quality analysis. Some articles refer to the notion of sustainability, which stimulates transformative changes in society, and the consequences for the explicit or implicit integration with the socio-political dimension and the environmental dimension, as well as for the well-being of people all over the world, thus the socio-cultural dimension. Two interesting questions are, first, how can new forms of public participation and democratic practices and policies to stimulate environmental protection be developed, transforming the socio-political and legal context in order to contribute to the development of overall sustainability? Second, how can community involvement and new communication technologies be stimulated?


A Critical Qualitative Study of the Relationship between Social Empowerment and Participatory

Democracy in the UK

Steven Corbett

Environmental Public Participation in the UK

Hinrich Voss

Environmental Sustainability as Indicator of Social Quality: The New Opportunities Offered by


Renato Fontana and Martina Ferrucci

Sustainable Development as a Goal: Social, Environmental and Economic Dimensions

Vera Mignaqui

National Environmental Policy Development for Sustainable Economic Growth in Developing Countries:

A Case Study of Pakistan

Syed Shahbaz Hussain and Pirzada Sami Ullah Sabri

Cohesion, Exclusion and Social Quality

Paul Spicker


Volume 3 • Issue 2 • 2013

Special issue: The future of the ‘social’

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. Kaufmann’s ambitious sociological approach, which emphasizes national state traditions and notions of society and culture, contrasts with the dominating approaches to social policy, which are either normative, descriptive (much of the textbook literature), political economy or policy studies. Although there is a vast literature on social policy and the welfare state, surprisingly few scholars have investigated the societal and cultural dimensions of social policy and the welfare state in depth. Guest editor Lutz Leisering from Bielefeld University presents an issue in which this lack of attention has been addressed.

SPECIAL ISSUE: In Search of the ‘social’
European and Global Perspectives on the Idea of the Welfare State

• Guest editorial The “Social”: The Global Career of an Idea
Lutz Leisering
• The Idea of Social Policy in Western Societies: Origins and Diversity Franz-Xaver Kaufmann
• The Rise of the “Global Social”: Origins and Transformations of Social Rights under UN Human Rights Law Ulrike Davy
• Welfare Systems in Europe and the United States: Conservative Germany Converging toward the Liberal US Model? Martin Seeleib-Kaiser
• Religious Cleavages, Divisions on the Left and the Political Economy of Southern Europe Philip Manow
• Emergence of New Welfare States in East Asia? Domestic Social Changes and the Impact of “Welfare Internationalism” in South Korea and Taiwan (1945-2012) Won Sub Kim and Shih-Jiunn Shi
• The Logic of Welfare: Religious and Sociological Foundations of Social Policy Rationality Elmar Rieger


Volume 3 • Issue 1 • 2013


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 is the primary task of government (especially after the financial crisis in the late 2000s), and in other cases, for example 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, environmental policy, and overall sustainability of society. The articles included in this issue of IJSQ touch on different aspects of the ‘sustainable growth’ issue.
Volume 3 – Issue 1 – 2013
List of articles
• Editorial
• Welfare after Growth: Theoretical Discussion and Policy Implications
Max Koch
• Risks of Society Stability and Precarity of Employment: A Look at Russia
Vyacheslav Bobkov, Olesya Veredyuk and Ulvi Alliyev
• Social Policy and Special Economic Znoes in the Greater Mekong Subregion
John Walsh
• The Socio-political Bases of Willingness to Join Environmental NGOs in China: A Study in Social Cohesion
Neil Munro
• Analyzing Societal Circumstances, Sustainability and Sustainable Urban Development: New Theoretical and Methodological Challenges for Social Quality Indicators
Laurent van der Maesen


Volume 2 • Issue 2 • 2012

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. The survey employed for the research was developed and validated by the Asian Consortium for Social Quality and in particular, academics at Seoul National University. The questionnaire was developed from the research by the European Network Indicators of Social Quality (ENIQ). Although each society used the same instrument, different methods of data collection were used based on those deemed most appropriate in each society.
Volume-2/Issue-2- List of articles
• ‘Editorial’
Samantha B. Meyer, Paul R. Ward & Raymond K.H. Chan
• Investigating Australians’ Trust: Findings from a National Survey
Samantha B. Meyer, Tini C.N. Luong, Paul. R. Ward, George Tsourtos, and Tiffany K. Grill
• ‘Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Urban China’
Kang Hu & Raymond K.H. Chan
• ‘Social Exclusion Experiences of Atypical Workers: A Case Study of Taipei’
Fen-ling Chen & Shih-Jiunn Shi
• ‘Social Inclusion in Southern Border Provinces of Thailand
Surasit Vajirakachorn
• ‘Trust and Social cohesion, the Key to Reconcile Thailand’s Future
Thawilwadee Bureekul & Stithorn Thananithichot
• ‘Can Information and Communication Technology enhance Social Quality
Claire Wallace


Volume 2 • Issue 1 • 2012

• Ka Lin, Laurent J.G. van der Maesen and Dan Mao
• Evaluating the Quality and Legitimacy of Global Governance: A Theoretical and Analytical Approach
• Tim Cadman
• A Legitimate Freedom Approach to Sustainability: Sen, Scanlon and the Inadequacy of the Human Development Index
• Andrew Crabtree
• Economic Performance, Social Progress and Social Quality
• Peter Hermann
• Social Innovation, Local Governance and Social Quality: The Case of Intersectoral Collaboration in Hangzhou City
• Yong Li, Ying Sun and Ka Lin
• Models of Elderly Care in Japan and The Netherlands: Social Quality Perspectives
• Rachel Kurian and Chihiro Uchiyama
• The Social Quality Approach in a Pluralist World
• Jan Berting


Volume 1 • Issue 2 • 2011

• Social Quality Research in a Globalized World: An Introduction
• Ka Lin, Des Gasper, and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen
• Critical Engagements of NGOs for Global Human Rights Protection: A New Epoch of Cosmopolitanism for Larger Freedom?
• On-Kwok Lai
• Good Governance, Social Quality, and Active Citizenship: Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines
• Alex B. Brillantes Jr. and Maricel T. Fernandez
• Workplace Innovation, Social Innovation, and Social Quality
• Peter R.A. Oeij, Steven Dhondt, and Ton Korver
• En-Gendering Insecurities: The Case of the Migration Policy Regime in Thailand
• Philippe Doneys
• The Theatre of Human Trafficking: A Global Discourse on Lao Stages
• Roy Huijsmans
• Exploring the Relevance of Fraserís Ethical-Political Framework of Justice to the Analysis of Inequalities Faced by Migrant Workers
• Bina Fernandez


Volume 1 • Issue 1 • Summer 2011

• Social Quality and Welfare System Sustainability
• Alan Walker
• Visions of the Sustainable Welfare Society: Extending Social Quality into an Asian/Developmental Context
• Yoshinori Hiroi
• Globalization and Ageing in India
• Arvind K. Joshi
• The Social Quality of Citizenship: Three Remarks for Kindling a Debate
• Ton Korver
• The Prototype of Social Quality Theory and its Applicability to Asian Societies
• Ka Lin
• The Individual and the Social: A Comparative Study of Quality of Life, Social Quality and Human Development Approaches
• David Phillips
• The Human and the Social: A Comparison of the Discourses of Human Development, Human Security and Social Quality
• Des Gasper
• Rethinking the Human and the Social: Towards a Multiverse of Transformations
• Ananta Kumar Giri



The International Journal of Social Quality is a new launch and at the same time the continuation of the former European Journal of Social Quality.

IJSQ is published by Berghahn Journals in collaboration with Zhejiang University and the International Associaction on Social Quality

Berghahn Journals
New York, Oxford

New! Online version available for all volumes.

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.

During this decade of work, social quality research has increasingly attracted the interest of scholars inside and outside Europe. It has clearly outgrown its European origin, as can be seen from the geographical diversity of authors of the articles in this opening issue of the new journal. The same aim – to build an understanding of the quality of daily circumstances that has a basis in a broad theory on societal changes, trends, contradictions and challenges, and to contribute in this way to promoting quality of societies – has been adopted by scholars elsewhere, including in many universities in East Asia and the Pacific. Their work and the increasing collaboration between researchers across Asia-Pacific and Europe has stimulated an evolution of perspectives and raised new sets of questions to pursue alongside the earlier ones. Among the new questions raised are: How far is the European-originated social quality theory useful to understand circumstances, trends and challenges elsewhere? Can the social quality approach make a distinctive contribution to understanding and guiding the epochal processes of urbanization and societal change that are underway in Asia and elsewhere? In what ways does the theory need to be extended, changed or supplemented? What new light does it throw on issues of longer-term economic, socio-political and environmental sustainability? Social quality studies have become global, in terms of the scientific networks that are involved and cooperate, and also in terms of the many cross-national and trans-national questions and insights that have been added. The International Journal of Social Quality responds to these challenges. It will be a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to promote research on social quality. It will publish papers that address crucial problems encountered by societies of the contemporary world. The journal will be a platform for addressing interconnected issues concerning, for example, health care, education, migration, urban development, employment, ageing and pensions, and citizenship. It will also be a forum for dialogue between social quality thinking and other approaches.


Editorial Board and International Advisory Committee

Laurent J.G. van der Maesen, International Association on Social Quality

Managing Editor
Bas van der Horst, International Association on Social Quality

Editorial Board
Ka Lin, Zhejiang University
Des Gasper, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Steve Corbett, Liverpool Hope University

International Advisory Committee
Alan Walker (Chair), University of Sheffield
Jan Berting, em., Erasmus University Rotterdam
Vyacheslav Bobkov, Pelhanov University
Tim Cadman, Griffith University
William Darrow, Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
Renato Fontana, La Sapienza University
Ananta Kumar Giri, Madras Institute of Development Studies
David Gordon, University of Bristol
Erika Gubrium, Oslo and Akershus University College
Anne-Marie Guillemard, Paris Descartes Sorbonne
Rolf Dieter Hepp, Free University of Berlin
Peter Herrmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Law & Social Policy
Ton Korver, International Association on Social Quality
Stein Kuhnle, University of Bergen
Huck-ju Kwon, Seoul National University
Lutz Leisering, University of Bielefeld
Ota de Leonardis, University of Milano-Bicocca
Mario Ivan Lopez, Kyoto University
Harry Nijhuis, em., University of Amsterdam
Zuzana Novakova, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Ilona Ostner, Göttingen University
Yi Pan, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Sony Pellissery, National Law School of India University
Maria Petmesidou, Democritus University of Thrace
Marco Ricceri, EURISPES
Peter Robert, TARKI Social Research Institute
Jorma Sipilä, University of Tampere
Göran Therborn, University of Cambridge
Ian Vandewalle, Liverpool Hope University
Paul Ward, Flinders University
Judith Wolf, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre


International Journal of Social Quality Mission statement

International 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 discusses issues 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.



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Information for Contributors & Submission of Articles

The Journal accepts papers in the following categories: Original Research Articles, Book Reviews, Review Articles, and Reports. Original Research Articles should present new knowledge and findings in the field, and the length of articles should be around 8,000 words (including notes and references), although longer and shorter articles may be considered. Reviews articles should usually have a minimum of three titles reviewed, and be 2,000 to 4,000 words in length. Authors should submit articles as word attachments by e-mail, formatted as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format files. Submissions of articles and reviewing articles should be sent to the managing editor: Bas van der Horst at . A copy of the style guideline can be obtained via this address as well.

Each article must include an abstract of not more than 150 words, and 6 to 8 keywords. The abstract should summarize or paraphrase the text and should avoid duplicating it verbatim. Complete contact information for each author is required, and biographical data of approximately 100 words must be sent with each article.


All contributors must submit copyright agreements and all requisite permission documents for reprinting or altering copyrighted materials, both textual and graphic. The author is entirely responsible for obtaining all permissions and resolving any associated fees.


Figures and corresponding captions should be placed in separate files; only placement indicators should appear in the main text. Figures should be numbered consecutively as they appear in the text. For optimal reproduction, halftones (black and white photographs or figures without lines or text) should be submitted as TIFF files (resolution 300 dpi). Line drawings, such as graphs and charts, should be black and white and submitted at a resolution of 800 dpi. Additionally, all images should be approximately 4 × 4 inches at the resolution indicated. Figures that are embedded in Word or Powerpoint files cannot be used. Tables and corresponding captions should be placed in separate files; only placement indicators should appear in the main text. As with the figures, please be sure to number the tables consecutively.


The International Journal of Social Quality style guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th and 15th editions, with occasional deviations based on the publisherís preferences. The journal uses the author/date system of referencing, with a separate reference list. Moreover, the journal uses American English punctuation and spelling, according to Merriam-Websterís Collegiate Dictionary or the American Heritage College Dictionary (italicize non-English words throughout that do not appear romanized in these dictionaries).


In project collaboration with

ISS, Part of Erasmus University - The Hague, the Netherlands

EURISPES - Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies - Rome, Italy

Zhejiang University - Hangzhou, China