The Extension of International Collaboration for a Global SQA
The main policy of the International Association on Social Quality (IASQ) with regard to the elaboration of international collaboration was and is to extend its contacts and various forms of cooperation with scholars of academic institutes in Europe, Asia, Australia, en recently with Northern and Southern Americas and Africa. This happens with support of representatives of universities and academies, with which a strong bond had been built up over the past two decades. They function as mediators for orchestrating all types of collaboration. One of the most interesting communicative tools for this is the International Journal of Social Quality. These mediators are from the beginning up to mid 2020:
- SISWO, the Dutch National Interdisciplinary Institute for Social Sciences , located in Amsterdam. It may be appreciated as the cradle of the SQA. The preparation phase of the SQA started, without realizing that it would actually be the preparation phase, in the early 1990s. During a decade, this institute delivered all necessary facilities to pave the way for the European interdisciplinary collaboration, concerning relevant societal questions. This resulted into three expert-meetings in Amsterdam. It paved also the way for the constitution of the European Foundation on Social Quality as a independent ‘legal person’. The EFSQ left SISWO in the year 2000 and became completely independent: the start of the SQA.
- The University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, since 1994 to now. From the start of the European Foundation on Social Quality – from this side initiatives are made and a huge amount of work is done to develop the SQA in Europe. It functioned as a crucial mediator between SQA-scholars and departments of the European Commission. Thanks to existing partnerships of this university with Asian and Australian universities, it played a crucial role in the extension of the SQA to South-East Asia and Australia; theoretically and methodologically. Especially, this university offered and provided a clear view of the policy implications of the SQA.
- The Kingston University in the United Kingdom since 1999 till 2006.From this side the initiative was taken to produce and to co-finance the European Journal of Social Quality and it also offered the chief editor. Thanks to this very welcome support, the EFSQ was able to stimulate a European discussion about the nature of the changes in many policy areas of the Member States and how to respond to this from the point of view of the SQA.
- Since 2005 till 2010 the Chiba University from Japan played a strong role in presenting the SQA in Japan, Taiwan, mainland China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea and to pave the way for conferences about the SQA, funded by their governments and herewith related universities. The first international social quality conference took place in the Chiba University. This resulted in a highly important start of the SQA in this part of the world. For unclear reasons this connection died an early death. Since 2019 attempts are being made to find an alternative academic setting in Japan.
- Since 2006 till 2011 the Seoul National University in South Korea, stimulated by the Chiba University, began to play a very important role in highlighting the SQA in this country and other countries of South-East Asia. Especially from this side argued is that the first social quality indicators are not completely attuned to the relationships in daily circumstances of this region. They opened a serious and interesting debate and published a lot about the SQA on the basis of empirical studies in this country. Also for unclear reasons this collaboration stopped. But their representatives continued with studies, research and publications about the SQA in South Korea up till now. In 2020 attempts will been made to restore cooperation.
- Since 2007 to now with the International Institute of Social Studies from the Erasmus University, located in The Hague of The Netherlands. Thanks to this institute the question of the complementarity of ‘human security approach’ and the ‘social quality approach’ came into the footlights and support is given to open the horizon for the social quality approach to the challenge of sustainability. This institute also supported the EFSQ with SQA-projects in the city of The Hague. For years the office of the EFSQ could use the infrastructural facilities (also building) of the ISS.
- Since 2008 to now with the Zhejiang University in China. From this side a huge amount of work is done to stimulate the application of the SQA in South-East Asia. Especially its attention is devoted to the instrument of the social quality indicators and its application. This work stimulated further the organization of international conferences about SQA in this part of the world. This University was one of the initiators of the extensive European-Chinese project on urbanization and environmental protection in the Zhejiang Province. Thanks to this university, the IASQ became one of the partners of this project. With these activities, this university took more or less the place of Chiba University. It decided to revive in 2010 the Journal, since then called the International Journal of Social Quality with a co-financing for twelve issues: 2011-2015.The chief editorship came into the hands of this university, corresponding to the Kingston University at the time of the European Journal. A new editorial and advisory board was founded. During 2016 and 2017 the IASQ took only substantive and financial responsibility for the journal during 2016 and 2017, as well as the chief editorship.
- Since 2010 to now with Eurispes, namely the Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies, located in Rome. Thanks to this institute – globally considered as a highly skilled think tank – the attention for the SQA is extended to Southern European and Eastern European countries. During its expert-meetings in Rome, ideas are discussed how to develop the SQA with the current problematique of the EU’s Member States and far beyond. Discussed is also, how to collaborate with its International Academic Advisory Board; may this pave the way for new perspectives of the IASQ as a catalyst of academic change? Seen from the perspective of the IASQ, the traditional attention of Eurispes for urban problematique, and for the fundamentally changing labor relations, as well the current attention for the new global phenomenon, namely the BRICS-platform of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, may pose new challenges for the SQA.
- Since 2012 to now with the Aberdeen University in the United Kingdom. This was the sign to devote especially the attention to the application of social quality indicators for understanding the reality of daily circumstances in Africa, the former Bolshevistic countries, Eastern Europe for how to pave the way to a ‘Decent society’ in these countries. Herewith this university opens new horizons related with the SQA which are unthinkable without the past years of empirical oriented SQA research.
- Since 2014 to now with the Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom. From this side attention is devoted to vulnerable groups in society and the way neoliberal economics strengthen the vulnerability in all aspects of societal life. With this in mind the question of the Brexit and populism is articulated as a challenge for the SQA. From this side the initiative is made for the new Declaration of Social Quality in the light of the politics, resulting into the Brexit.
- Since 2015 to now with the Institute for Economics and Forecast of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. From this side the initiative is made to invite the IASQ and her academic relations to dedicate attention to the application of the SQA in Ukraine and surrounding countries in order to better discuss the position of the population in this stage of transition. Originally the Government of Ukraine and the main representatives of the European Commission supported the realization of this initiative. Very soon, talks will be resumed shortly. As a result of the past years of collaboration, the understanding of the interrelated processes in four dimensions of societal life has gained significance. From this side the initiative is made to prepare a thematic issue on essential aspects of the transitions in Eastern European countries, also seen from the point of view of the rule of law.
- Since 2016 to now with the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics activities are deployed to introduce the social quality approach in Russia and from this side to contribute to the development of this approach in this country and beyond. Of interest is the contribution of a Russian based approach how to support the increase of the overall sustainability and in this context the labour relations. Plans are made to really extend the collaboration with the Russian academic world for deepening the SQA and to stimulate a collaboration of Russian and Western European and Asian SQA-scholars.
- Since 2017 to now with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). From this side two points are placed into the footlights. First the analysis of the nature and application of social quality indicators in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia in order too deepen and upgrade these indicators for becoming more functional for new politics and policies. Concluded is, that in the two past decades a huge amount of empirical oriented indicators’ research has taken place, without studies from a global perspective on the results, applied methods, and theoretic various theoretical foundation. Second to upgrade and extend the International Journal of Social Quality, so that this communication tool will stimulate a global debate on comparing the results of the past en future application of social quality indicators in many countries. The Cass decided to co-finance the journal from 2018 till 2022. The editorial board and advisory board were renewed; the editorship remained in the hands of the IASQ.
- Since 2018 to now with the Griffith University in Australia. From this side attention is devoted to a manifold of aspects of climate change and the overall sustainability and the need of new forms of global governance in order to really pave the way for an increase of the sustainability of human existence on earth. Thanks to this collaboration, the IASQ obtains new contacts in the highly diverse world of scholars, oriented on climate change.
- Since 2018 to now with the Radboud University in The Netherlands. Purpose is with help of its collaboration with more than 60 care institutes in this country and their 5000 counselors to strengthen the capacities of vulnerable people based. The applied methodologies are based on the principles of the SQA, and especially to the constitutional factors. These factors function as centerpiece of the practices of these care institutes and their counselors. Such extensive practices targeting this underdeveloped aspect of the SQA – namely the constitutional factors – can be described as unique for this approach. This has already resulted into a Dutch-USA project (Radboud University Medical Center and Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis) , oriented on reframing health care services through the lens of co-production between patients/clients and professionals, aiming at equal and reciprocal relationships between both categories. In other words on ‘people-centered, coproduce care from the patients’ perspective, directly referring to the SQA.