International Journal of Social Quality

Current Issue

The latest issue of the International Journal of Social Quality is available from Berghahn Journals. The Journal is published in print and online. Starting with Volume 12, the Journal is an Open Access publication – all content is freely available.

Volume 13 • Issue 1 • 2023

Reflections with Descartes and Spinoza in mind

This issue of the International Journal of Social Quality (IJSQ) spans a broad spectrum of global concerns, from the pressing threats posed by unregulated artificial intelligence (AI) to the multifaceted challenges of climate change, wildlife preservation, the plight of refugees, crime victimization, and working poverty across different regions. The contributions collectively underscore the complex societal embeddedness of these problems, necessitating comprehensive epistemological approaches for their understanding and resolution.

The editorial begins by scrutinizing the risks associated with AI, noting the failure of recent discussions to address the core issues, which lie not in the technology itself but in the neoliberal economic structures that allow mega-corporations to exploit AI unchecked. This concern for overarching structures extends into examinations of climate change impacts in Nigeria, where community programs offer resilience against environmental hazards exacerbated by global economic policies and practices. The case for preserving koalas in Australia further illustrates the intersection of environmental, legal, and sociocultural dimensions in addressing ecological crises.

The issue also explores the dire conditions faced by unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece, the revictimization of crime victims in Romania and the EU, and the pervasive issue of working poverty in Slovakia and the broader EU context. Each article highlights the critical gap between formal ethical principles and their practical application, driven by prevailing political, economic, and cultural forces.

Reflecting on these contributions, the editorial advocates for a social quality perspective to deepen understanding of these issues, suggesting that a shift towards more integrated and ethically grounded approaches is essential for addressing the global challenges of our time. This involves a call to revisit and potentially revise international and corporate governance structures, aiming to realign them with the broader public and ecological interest, thus bridging the gap between high-minded principles and the realities of societal practice.



The AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park Asked the Wrong Questions
Reijer Passchier

Introductory Statements, Five Articles, and Reflections with Descartes and Spinoza in mind
Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

People's Perceptions of the Impact of Climate Change and the Effect of a Community Development Project in Nigeria
Anselm Adodo and Monica ImouduKoalas, Climate, Conservation, and the Community

Koalas, Climate, Conservation, and the Community A Case Study of the Proposed Great Koala National Park, New South Wales, Australia
Tim Cadman, Rolf Schlagloth, Flavia Santamaria, Ed Morgan, Danielle Clode, and Sean Cadman

The Lives of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors during their Transit Stay in Greece
Theano Kallinikaki

The Risk of Revictimization for the Young Victims of Crimes
Delia Magherescu

Social Quality and Working Poverty in the European Union and Slovakia in Particular
Michaela Milena Schubertová and Mária Antalová

Earlier Issues

Volume 12 • Issue 2 • 2022

Global Perspective on Sustainable Solutions

The December 2022 edition of The International Journal of Social Quality presents five articles that examine important issues affecting society today. The editorial section pays homage to those who have recently passed away and sets the stage for the articles that follow.

The first article by Des Gasper, "Rethinking Human Development and/as Human Security for the Anthropocene," analyzes the United Nations Development Programme Trilogy of Reports from 2020 to 2022. It suggests expanding the concept of human development to include human security in the Anthropocene era. The second article, "Transformation of Urban-Rural Relationships in the Context of Global Challenges" by Paolo Motta, Cintia Jaime, and Federico Salmeron Escobar, talks about how urban-rural relationships are changing due to global challenges such as climate change, migration, and social inequality. The authors examine case studies from different regions around the world to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by these transformations. The third article, "Exploring the Digital Revolution in Education in India During the COVID-19 Pandemic" by Shivi Grover and Leemamol Mathew, explores how the digital revolution in education has affected India during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article examines the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to online education and provides insights into how it can be improved to ensure fair access to education. The fourth article, "Technological Inequality and Social Exclusion of Older People During the COVID-19 Pandemic" by Anna Tsetoura, discusses how the digital divide has affected older people during the pandemic, leading to social exclusion and technological inequality. The article examines the challenges faced by older people in accessing digital technologies and provides recommendations for addressing these issues. The final article, "Explorations of Contemporary Age Discrimination: A Global View" by Iryna M. Zharovska, Vitaliy B. Kovalchuk, Nataliya M. Gren, Yaryna S. Bohiv, and Iryna I. Shulhan, examines age discrimination from a global perspective. The authors discuss the prevalence of age discrimination and provide insights into how it can be addressed through legislation and policy interventions.

Overall, this issue of The International Journal of Social Quality provides valuable insights into various challenges facing society today, from education and technology to urban-rural relationships and discrimination. The articles offer a global perspective and emphasize the importance of fair and sustainable solutions to these challenges.


In Memoriam and Editorials
Laurent J. G. van der MaesenHarry G. J. Nijhuis, and Alan Walker

Rethinking Human Development and/as Human Security for the Anthropocene
An Analysis of the United Nations Development Programme Trilogy of Reports 2020–2022
Des Gasper

Transformation of Urban–Rural Relationships in the Context of Global Challenges
Paolo Motta, Cintia Jaime, and Federico Salmeron Escobar

Explorations of Contemporary Age Discrimination
A Global View
Iryna M. ZharovskaVitaliy B. KovalchukNataliya M. GrenYaryna S. Bohiv, and Iryna I. Shulhan

Volume 12 • Issue 1 • 2022

Ukraine Bridge CrimeaThe Complexity of Current Global Challenges

This issue features five articles that each address complex problems. The first article talks about what can be done to help Ukraine in the postwar era, covering the areas of finances, society, and welfare. This challenges don't just affect Ukraine, but are related to Europe and the rest of the world. The second article explores the impact of informal traders during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kumasi, a city in Ghana. It shows how important informal economics is to society in this country. The third article examines how the characteristics of urban environments in megacities may impact the spread of pandemics, using Wuhan, China as an example. The fourth article discusses the challenges in reducing CO2 emissions discussed at COP26, and how scientific approaches can obscure the societal patterns and processes that play a role in these issues. Finally, the fifth article looks at three ecological crises from a scientific perspective and calls for new scientific approaches to address them.

Overall, these articles tackle important issues that concern the world community. However, the editorial points out that traditional scientific and political approaches have limitations in addressing these problems. The influence of multinational companies and the fragmented nature of scientific approaches are identified as factors that contribute to the limited success in solving complex problems. The editorial suggests using the social quality theory and approach to gain new perspectives and contribute to finding solutions.


Human Sciences and Climate Change: Quo Vadis?
Laurent J. G. van der Maesen and Harry G. J. Nijhuis

The Recovery of Ukraine: Social Quality in the Postwar Societal Space
Valeriy Heyets, Viktoriia Blyzniuk, and Olena Nykyforuk

The Societal Significance of Informal Economics during the COVID-19 Pandemic in an African City
Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere, Hamdiyah Alhassan, Enock Jengre, Samuel Twumasi Amoah, Kwame Opare-Asamoah, and Alfred Toku

Changes in Development Direction and Mode of Urban Agglomerations in the Pandemic Era: A Chinese Approach
Liang Benfan, Zhao Changjie, and Lan Yu

COP26 and a Framework for Future Global Agreements on Carbon Market Integrity
Tim Cadman and Robert Hales

Towards a Sustainable Society: Considerations from a Natural Science Perspective
Frans W. Saris


Volume 11 • Issue 1&2 • 2021

Thematic Issue: The Societal Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the past fifteen months scholars from all continents have researched the societal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This happened under the lead of six members of the Editorial Board and Advisory Committee of IJSQ. It concerned a search for the processes within and between four dimensions of societal life that played out during this period, and analyze the consequences for the people concerned, within the sociopolitical/legal, socioeconomic/financial, sociocultural/welfare and socioenvironmental/ecological dimensions.

Bringing these studies together into this double issue of the Journal has proved to be quite a challenge. This way of analyzing societal consequences of something drastic like this pandemic is not usual. The six members and the authors of the articles were confronted with scientific and practical approaches with considerable differences. The plan for this double issue demanded for a strong global academic project group and extensive communication during these fifteen months.

Within the social quality theory and approach a frame of reference, the outcomes of the case studies published in this issue have challenged the current nature of SQ theory and approach. Therefore, the outcomes will serve to open new horizons.


The Societal Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Explained via Three Frameworks
Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

Editorial Introduction

The Case of Italy: The Societal Impact of COVID-19 in a Fragmented Society
Jan Martin Rossi

The Case of China: The Societal Impact of the “Whole of Government Approach”
Wang Jing and Wang Xue

Editorial Introduction

The Case of India: A Moral Foundation for the Impact of COVID-19 on Health and Society in the World’s Largest Democracy
Sony Pellissery, Vijay Paul, Khushi Srivastava, and Drishti Ranjan

The Case of South Africa: The Societal Impact of COVID-19
Krish Chetty

The Case of Brazil: Coloniality and Pandemic Misgovernance as Necropolitical Tools in the Amazon
Vanessa Boanada Fuchs

Editorial Introduction

The Case of the United Kingdom: Mapping Localism, Resilience, and Civic Activism in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tony Bradley, Issam Malki, Curtis Ziniel, and Asad Ghalib

The Case of Germany: Civil Society and Civic Activism in the Pandemic
Susann Worschech

Editorial Introduction

The Case of Pakistan: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Perceived Well-Being of Displaced Households
Fariya Hashmat, Ahmad Nawaz, Tony Bradley and Asad Ghalib

The Case of the United States: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Connectedness and Isolation in Low-Income Communities
Allison A. Parsons, Danielle Maholtz, Jamaica Gilliam, Haleigh Larson, Dan Li, Sophia J. Zhao, Brita Roy, and Carley Riley

Editorial Introduction

The Case of Japan: How COVID-19 Impacted the Procurement and Lives of Migrant Healthcare Workers
Mario Ivan López and Ohno Shun

The Case of Australia: A Qualitative Study of Midlife Women during COVID-19 in South Australia
Paul R. Ward, Belinda Lunnay, Kristen Foley, Samantha B. Meyer, Jessica Thomas, Ian Olver, and Emma R. Miller

The Case of the United States (2): Reframing the COVID-19 Crisis as a Problem
Iva A. Terwilliger, Kevin J. O’Leary, and Julie K. Johnson

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Climate Change: Expressions of Global Ecological and Societal Misbalances
Laurent J. G. van der Maesen and Harry G. J. Nijhuis

Volume 10 • Issue 2 • 2020

This is a thematic issue about the societies of Central and Eastern Europe, featuring articles exploring topics such as regime preferences in Slovakia, support for a populist government in Poland, sociocultural change in Hungary, lack of trust in government institutions in the Czech Republic, the impact of trust on development in Ukraine, and the changing world order's impact on Central and Eastern Europe. The issue also includes a concluding essay suggesting the establishment of a "Social Quality Observatory" for the region. The editorial board notes the challenges posed by both Brexit and COVID-19. Some articles are available for free download.


Note from the Editorial Board: The Challenges of Brexit and COVID (free download)

Editorial: A Thematic Issue about Central and Eastern European Societies (free download)
By: Zuzana Reptova Novakova and Laurent van der Maesen

The Curious Case of Slovakia: Regime Preferences Thirty Years after the Velvet Revolution (free download)
By: Zuzana Reptova Novakova

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

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

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

The Impact of Trust on the Quality of Participation in Development: The Case of Ukraine (free download)
By: Tadashi Hirai

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

Concluding Remarks: A “Social Quality Observatory” for Central and Eastern European Countries? (free download)
By: Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

Volume 10 • Issue 1 • 2020

As a first step in the direction of open access for the journal, two of the articles are accessible for free. Both articles are outcomes of long collaborations within multidisciplinary project groups.

The first of these two articles is Pathways to Empowerment: The Social Quality Approach as a Foundation for Person-Centered Interventions. This article (the first investigating Social Quality's constitutional factors) describes how the Social Quality Approach has been used as the theoretical framework to structure and ground a person-centred intervention. This intervention (Pathways to Empowerment, PTE) aims to improve the quality of the daily lives of persons who experience losing control of their lives. PTE focuses on their strengths, and stimulates personal agency, participation in society, and self-direction. So far, this intervention has been implemented in 75 care organizations in the Netherlands.

The second project and related article, Evolutionary Thermodynamics and Theory of Social Quality as Links between Physics, Biology, and the Human Sciences, includes a philosophical journey into the natural sciences, focusing on the concept of time irreversibility as developed in the field of Evolutionary Thermodynamics (ET).
This paper opens the potential to bridge the theoretical divide between physics and other natural sciences on the one hand, and social quality and other human sciences on the other. For the human sciences, social quality provides the tools to make this possible, because in ontological sense it incorporates ET and its related dialectics. This may open pathways for meaningful interdisciplinary approaches within and between natural sciences and human sciences – an essential condition for addressing challenges like the overall sustainability in a comprehensive way.

There are two more articles in this issue. The first explores the situation in ever growing megacities all over the world and the impact of the COVID pandemic there. This concerns a new view of the contemporary urban problematique, seen from a Social Quality perspective. The second article evaluates the practicing of corporate sustainability within large corporate organizations.

Volume 9 • Issue 2 • 2019

The articles in this issue are highly varied; from public health and discrimiation, the need of careful assesment of geoengineering ideas, to an analysis of how seemingly universal terms in the scientific discourse can have different interpretations depending on locality and background, and the search for a truly global human rights agenda.

Volume 9 • Issue 1 • 2019

This issue is dedicated to two general topics that play a central role in social quality thinking and its policy application. The first is how to sharpen the social quality approach (SQA) as an intellectual instrument to understand the nature and rationale of political/legal, economic, cultural, and environmental processes in societies that aim to cope with their interpretations of mainstream contemporary challenges. The second is how to use social quality indicators for conceiving of the consequences of these processes in communities and cities. The connection of these main themes of the SQA is increasingly becoming the crucial challenge for, in particular, the theoretical reflection on thinking and acting for the increase of social quality in communities, cities, and countries. A global oriented comparison of recent and past social quality indicators research—for being heuristically meaningful—cannot neglect the role of social quality profiles and criteria anymore. This will be the forthcoming huge and interesting challenge.


Editorial (free download)

The Contribution of BRICS to the Quality of Global Development
Marco Ricceri

Social Quality in a Transitive Society
Valeriy Heyets

Public Evaluation of Society in China
Ren Liying and Zou Yuchin

Social Quality Measurement and Perceived Social Quality
Muhammad Yasir Ali and Ka Lin

Volume 8 • Issue 2 • 2018 / 2019

Environmental issues and the development of the social quality approach

The first three articles of this issue are dedicated to aspects of the current debate about and the praxis of environmental questions. The fourth article concerns the application of social quality indicators in China.

In an article about greening British businesses, Curtis Ziniel and Tony Bradley focus on the distinction between a post-material and a postindustrial point of departure for paving new ways regarding this connection. Tim Cadman et al. give an insider account of the COP climate negotiations, comparing market-based and non market-based approaches. Laurent van der Maesen uses the case of the Plastic Soup Foundation to propose further development of the social quality approach to include environment related issues. And Li Wei and Cui Yan explore the social quality of China related to indicators derived from a nationwide survey.


Editorial (free download)

Volume 8 • Issue 1 • 2018


From the extended editorial

"This and the next issues of the International Journal of Social Quality are the outcome of the support by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to develop this journal globally, delivering an opportunity to present a more extensive editorial in order to summarize the state of social quality work and to indicate essential challenges at this stage and in the near future.  . . . CASS’s global scientific network in connection with IASQ’s global network can be made productive for this journal and for social quality thinking in all continents."

"The evolution of emphases in the social quality approach (SQA) during the past decade was relevant in the discussion with CASS representatives. As explained in the third main book on social quality, SQA now extends beyond analyses of processes in a range of policy areas seen as aspects of societal complexities (first field) and of herewith related processes in urban contexts (second field). It has added analyses oriented on the development or destruction of sustainable daily circumstances (third field), so a more global point of view has been introduced in theorizing social quality and SQA."


Editorial (free download)

Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 2017

About this issue

Dedicated to the memory of Renée van der Maesen, whose crucial support made the continued publication of this journal possible.

With focus on the rule of law, the current issue of the International Journal of Social Quality stimulates the dialogue about this highly relevant societal aspect of the sociopolitical/legal dimension. Four articles in this issue are outcomes of social quality projects; in Ukraine, a comparison between four Scandinavian and four Eastern European countries, in the Netherlands, and in China, respectively. In the final article, the Italian approach of the “rule of law” is presented, promoted in recent years by its governmental institutions in multilateral fora on priority areas related to the struggle against global crime, drugs, money laundering, and terrorism.
Sustainability is also a theme that is present in several articles. As the editorial states: “With presenting the rule of law, we must rethink the present and the outcomes of assumptions underlining suppositions of property rights as point of departure for the strengthening of the plutonomy. Without a change of these assumptions, the development toward the overall sustainability will be impossible.”



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.



 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

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.

The publishers have providedtreetopwalklong 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
JohannesM. Waldmüller
  • The Decline and Disorganization of Public Health 29 in the United States: Social ImplicationsWilliam 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 MetricsH.J. (Huub) Lenders
  • Social Justice through Enterprises: The End of the 81 1972/1973 Conjuncture? A Legal PerspectiveHagen 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 SettlementAnna Coote
  • The Moral Economy of Digital GiftsDave Elder-Vass
  • Conditions for Social EntrepreneurshipBert Helmsing
  • An Analysis of Social Capital Generation among Coalfield Residents in Harlan County, KentuckyFeng Hao
  • Methodology for Setting a Mexican User Satisfaction Index for Social ProgramsOdette Lobato-Calleros, Humberto Rivera, Hugo Serrato, María Elena Gómez, Ignacio Méndez Ramírez
  • Seventeen Sightings of the "Social" in Economic Development Policy WritingRaymond 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



IJSQ is published by Berghahn Journals in collaboration the International Association on Social Quality and (starting with Volume 8) with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

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

Berghahn Journals

New York, Oxford

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, 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
Cui Yan (managing assistant), Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Floris Bruin (digital editor), International Association on Social Quality, Netherlands

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
Gracjan Cimek, Polish Naval Academy, Gdynia, Poland
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
David Kergel, Internationale Hochschule, Dortmund, Germany
Stein Kuhnle, University of Bergen, Norway
Huck-ju Kwon, Seoul National University, South Korea
Ota de Leonardis, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Mario Ivan Lopez, Kyoto University, Japan
Paolo Motta, EURISPES, Italy
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
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


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.


Annual Subscriptions

Volume 8/2018, 2 issues p.a. (spring, winter)
ISSN 1757-0344 (Print) • ISSN 1757-0352 (Online)
(rates include handling & surface postage)

Subscribe/Renew Now
» Print+Online
» Online Only
Free Sample Issue
Recommend to Your Library


Institutional Rate (Print & Online)
$225.00 / £148.00 / €192.00

Institutional Rate (Online Only)
$202.00 / £133.00 / €173.00

Individual Rate (Online Only)
$34.95 / £22.95 / €30.00

Student Rate (Online Only)
$19.95 / £13.95 / €15.95*
*must include valid student ID

Print & Online for individual subscriptions are available. Please contact Turpin for pricing.

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).

Scroll to Top