Does effective social policy guarantee happiness?
In the paper it is questioned whether effective state social policy provides happiness and social progress. For this purpose selected correlations between Human Development Index (HDI), share of public social expenditures in GDP, the Happy Planet Index (HPI), GDP per capita, and Government Effectiveness are examined and the results are graphically presented. It is shown how a government can affect well-being and happiness in different countries of modern world. Also, it is tested the hypothesis about existence of a certain optimum of well-being and public social expenditures, which affect direction of social progress. It is concluded that efficient social policy and wealth are not the only factors determining human happiness.
The philosophical and psychological views on the problem of happiness since Aristotle to our days are summarized. Building on both philosophical discussions and recent data of sociological and psychological research, the author reveals two qualitatively distinct phenomena behind the common word “happiness”, that have different attributes and regularities. The firs one is the experience of subjective well-being that is directly associated with the basic needs gratification, while the second one is the experience of enjoyment as the experience of being engaged in some personally meaningful activity or close relationships.
The paper is focused on the changing role of nonprofit organizations in welfare provision under conditions of welfare transformation in contemporary Russia. The evidences of shrinking role of the state in providing social services have been found in Russia as well. Russian government introduced administrative reform which aims to accomplish deregulation of the market, outsourcing and delegation of social provision to the nonprofit sector and commercial organizations. The research is exploring the neoliberal tendencies and their impact on the role of NGOs in social provision and development of the nonprofit sector as a whole. Federal government expects social NGOs to assist in social policy and provision of certain services for social groups in need (children, women, veterans, disabled etc). The paper explores variety of state funding for social services delivered by NGOs and assess its possibilities and limitations in the case of Saint Petersburg.
This paper examines correlations between the genetic characteristics of human populations and their aggregate levels of tolerance and happiness. A metadata analysis of genetic polymorphisms supports the interpretation that a major cause of the systematic clustering of genetic characteristics may be climatic conditions linked with relatively high or low levels of parasite vulnerability. This led vulnerable populations to develop gene pools conducive to avoidance of strangers, while less-vulnerable populations developed gene pools linked with lower levels of avoidance. This, in turn, helped shape distinctive cultures and subsequent economic development. Survey evidence from 48 countries included in the World Values Survey suggests that a combination of cultural, economic and genetic factors has made some societies more tolerant of outsiders and more predisposed to accept gender equality than others. These relatively tolerant societies also tend to be happier, partly because tolerance creates a less stressful social environment. Though economic development tends to make all societies more tolerant and open to gender equality and even somewhat happier, these findings suggest that cross-national differences in how readily these changes are accepted, may reflect genetically-linked cultural differences.
Belarusian Yearbook 2013 presents a comprehensive analysis of the key developments in the main sectors of the state and society. Since its inception a decade ago, the Belarusian Yearbook has evolved as a crucial annual initiative of the Belarusian analytical community to compile, conceptualize and present a chronicle of Belarus contemporary history. Contributing to Belarusian Yearbook 2013 were independent analysts and experts, as well as specialists representing varios think tanks, including the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS, Vilnius, Lithuania), the Research Center of the Institute for Privatization and Managment (Minsk, Belarus), NOVAK Axiometrical Research Laboratory (Warsaw, Poland), the Belarusian Ecomomic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC, Minsk, Belarus), the Center for Eastern Studies (Warsaw, Poland), the expert community of Belarus Nashe Mnenie (Our opinion), the Agency of Humanitarian Technologies, the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS), eBelarus Research Center, Agency for Social and Political Expert Appraisal.
On the 28th July, His Revered Majesty, the King of Bhutan issued a Royal Edict to formally convene an International Expert Working Group and its Steering Committee, with members appointed individually. The outcomes and results of the Working Group were to be presented to the United Nations during the 68th and 69th Sessions of the Generally Assembly in 2013 and 2014. The current report submitted to the 68th Session of the General Assembly in 2013 has been prepared by the Working Group on Happiness and Wellbeing, with the second report due to be submitted to the 69th Session of the General Assembly in 2014. The current report includes thorough literature reviews and examinations of existing best practices, to achieve a clear understanding on the actual, practical workings of the new paradigm and to provide practical suggestions on possible policies that can be put in place by governments around the world.