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1 Hawthorne Politics- General

The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being

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The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

During the past forty years, thousands of studies have been carried out on the subject of happiness. Some have explored the levels of happiness or dissatisfaction associated with typical daily activities, such as working, seeing friends, or doing household chores. Others have tried to determine the extent to which income, family, religion, and other factors are associated with the satisfaction people feel about their lives. The Gallup organization has begun conducting global surveys of happiness, and several countries are considering publishing periodic reports on the growth or decline of happiness among their people. One nation, tiny Bhutan, has actually made "Gross National Happiness" the central aim of its domestic policy. How might happiness research affect government policy in the United States--and beyond? In The Politics of Happiness, former Harvard president Derek Bok examines how governments could use the rapidly growing research data on what makes people happy--in a variety of policy areas to increase well-being and improve the quality of life for all their citizens.

Bok first describes the principal findings of happiness researchers. He considers how reliable the results appear to be and whether they deserve to be taken into account in devising government policies. Recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of happiness research, Bok looks at the policy implications for economic growth, equality, retirement, unemployment, health care, mental health, family programs, education, and government quality, among other subjects. Timely and incisive, The Politics of Happiness sheds new light on what makes people happy and how government policy could foster greater satisfaction for all.

Review:

"This is a remarkable, original, provocative and brilliant book. Anyone who wants to be happy, or to share their happiness with others, should snap it up at once." --Martin Sieff, The Washington Times

Synopsis:

"Bok provides a lucid analysis of scientific research on human happiness, and shows how it can and should be used to shape social policy. The breadth of his knowledge is matched only by the depth of his insight. There is not a word in this book to be missed."--Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

"Derek Bok asks the right question, 'What policies would produce the greatest happiness?' and he gives great and often startling answers, combining his deep knowledge of politics with the new findings of happiness research."--Richard Layard, author of Happiness: Lessons from a New Science

"Consistently fair-minded, pragmatic, and insightful, this is the single best book on its subject to date. Derek Bok confronts the findings of happiness research head-on and does not shy away from pursuing its implications."--Darrin M. McMahon, author of Happiness: A History

"This strong and timely book should have a major impact on how policymakers think."--Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

"Happiness research has principally focused on the factors affecting happiness, while policy implications remain an afterthought. There needs to be a more thoughtful and thorough consideration of these policy implications, and this excellent book is a significant contribution to the subject."--Richard Easterlin, University of Southern California

Synopsis:

During the past forty years, thousands of studies have been carried out on the subject of happiness. Some have explored the levels of happiness or dissatisfaction associated with typical daily activities, such as working, seeing friends, or doing household chores. Others have tried to determine the extent to which income, family, religion, and other factors are associated with the satisfaction people feel about their lives. The Gallup organization has begun conducting global surveys of happiness, and several countries are considering publishing periodic reports on the growth or decline of happiness among their people. One nation, tiny Bhutan, has actually made "Gross National Happiness" the central aim of its domestic policy. How might happiness research affect government policy in the United States--and beyond? In The Politics of Happiness, former Harvard president Derek Bok examines how governments could use the rapidly growing research data on what makes people happy--in a variety of policy areas to increase well-being and improve the quality of life for all their citizens.

Bok first describes the principal findings of happiness researchers. He considers how reliable the results appear to be and whether they deserve to be taken into account in devising government policies. Recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of happiness research, Bok looks at the policy implications for economic growth, equality, retirement, unemployment, health care, mental health, family programs, education, and government quality, among other subjects. Timely and incisive, The Politics of Happiness sheds new light on what makes people happy and how government policy could foster greater satisfaction for all.

About the Author

Derek Bok is the 300th Anniversary Research Professor at Harvard University. From 1971 to 1991, he served as Harvard's twenty-fifth president, and he served again as interim president from 2006 to 2007. He is the author of "The State of the Nation" and "The Trouble with Government", and coauthor of "The Shape of the River "(Princeton).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

CHAPTER 1: What Investigators Have Discovered 9

CHAPTER 2: The Reliability of Research on Happiness 32

CHAPTER 3: Should Policy-Makers Use Happiness Research? 45

CHAPTER 4: The Question of Growth 63

CHAPTER 5: What to Do about Inequality 79

CHAPTER 6: The Threat of Financial Hardship 99

CHAPTER 7: Relieving Suffering 124

CHAPTER 8: Marriages and Families 139

CHAPTER 9: Education 156

CHAPTER 10: The Quality of Government 179

CHAPTER 11: The Significance of Happiness Research 204

Notes 213

Index 247

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691144894
Author:
Bok, Derek
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Bok, Derek Curtis
Author:
BOK, Derek
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Quality of life -- United States.
Subject:
United States Social policy 1993-
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Public Policy - General
Subject:
Social Psychology
Subject:
Emotions
Subject:
Public Policy
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Psychology-Mood Disorders and Depression
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 2010
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 tables.
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mood Disorders and Depression
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691144894 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This is a remarkable, original, provocative and brilliant book. Anyone who wants to be happy, or to share their happiness with others, should snap it up at once." --
"Synopsis" by , "Bok provides a lucid analysis of scientific research on human happiness, and shows how it can and should be used to shape social policy. The breadth of his knowledge is matched only by the depth of his insight. There is not a word in this book to be missed."--Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

"Derek Bok asks the right question, 'What policies would produce the greatest happiness?' and he gives great and often startling answers, combining his deep knowledge of politics with the new findings of happiness research."--Richard Layard, author of Happiness: Lessons from a New Science

"Consistently fair-minded, pragmatic, and insightful, this is the single best book on its subject to date. Derek Bok confronts the findings of happiness research head-on and does not shy away from pursuing its implications."--Darrin M. McMahon, author of Happiness: A History

"This strong and timely book should have a major impact on how policymakers think."--Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

"Happiness research has principally focused on the factors affecting happiness, while policy implications remain an afterthought. There needs to be a more thoughtful and thorough consideration of these policy implications, and this excellent book is a significant contribution to the subject."--Richard Easterlin, University of Southern California

"Synopsis" by , During the past forty years, thousands of studies have been carried out on the subject of happiness. Some have explored the levels of happiness or dissatisfaction associated with typical daily activities, such as working, seeing friends, or doing household chores. Others have tried to determine the extent to which income, family, religion, and other factors are associated with the satisfaction people feel about their lives. The Gallup organization has begun conducting global surveys of happiness, and several countries are considering publishing periodic reports on the growth or decline of happiness among their people. One nation, tiny Bhutan, has actually made "Gross National Happiness" the central aim of its domestic policy. How might happiness research affect government policy in the United States--and beyond? In The Politics of Happiness, former Harvard president Derek Bok examines how governments could use the rapidly growing research data on what makes people happy--in a variety of policy areas to increase well-being and improve the quality of life for all their citizens.

Bok first describes the principal findings of happiness researchers. He considers how reliable the results appear to be and whether they deserve to be taken into account in devising government policies. Recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of happiness research, Bok looks at the policy implications for economic growth, equality, retirement, unemployment, health care, mental health, family programs, education, and government quality, among other subjects. Timely and incisive, The Politics of Happiness sheds new light on what makes people happy and how government policy could foster greater satisfaction for all.

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