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Conceptualising the Economy-Society Nexus in Well-Being and Happiness Initiatives: Gross National Happiness in Business in Bhutan and Social Impact Bonds in the United Kingdom

Alessandrini, Donatella, Jivraj, Suhraiya (2017) Conceptualising the Economy-Society Nexus in Well-Being and Happiness Initiatives: Gross National Happiness in Business in Bhutan and Social Impact Bonds in the United Kingdom. International Critical Thought, 7 (4). pp. 526-546. ISSN 2159-8282. E-ISSN 2159-8312. (doi:10.1080/21598282.2017.1357482) (KAR id:65444)

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Abstract

This article explores how well-being and happiness (WBH) is conceptualised in different geographical contexts, and how this understanding is able to affect policymaking and engender socio-economic and legal change. Whilst WBH initiatives seemingly stem from a critique of gross domestic product as a measure of societal “progress,” we show how, in itself, such critique cannot be the basis for understanding WBH as a unitary transnational phenomenon that offers a radical re-thinking of the relationship between economy and society. By focusing on two concrete instances and specific sites, that of the Social Impact Bond in the United Kingdom and the “Gross National Happiness in Business” project in Bhutan, we argue that individual contexts and initiatives must be closely studied, and suggest that conflations between different well-being agendas need to be avoided to pay closer attention to the ways in which well-being can be co-opted or fashioned through policymaking and government initiatives.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/21598282.2017.1357482
Uncontrolled keywords: Well-being, gross national happiness, austerity, social impact bond, economy and society
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sian Robertson
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 11:27 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2020 11:50 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/65444 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Alessandrini, Donatella: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4198-3958
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