280 pages | 3 B/W Illus.
Throughout history, humans have sought to enhance their wellbeing across various domains. Though the spectrum of factors responsible for wellbeing has widened considerably and advances have been realized in scientific-technological fields, significant failures have been encountered in establishing peaceful relations among various communities, and the natural environment has been degraded inconsiderately by humans since the Industrial Revolution.
This book identifies the key factors that influence changes in wellbeing – both positively and negatively – within a framework of socio-economic globalization, instantaneous interconnectedness, and rising environmental risks. These 'clusters of progress' comprise essentially the following seven areas: bolstering peace and security; respecting universal fundamental values; satisfying personal and social basic needs; expanding knowledge and managerial-technological skills; promoting arts and culture; husbanding natural resources and protecting the environment; and concerting actions for the global common good.
The term 'progress' is used here to mean an all-embracing sustainable advancement towards desirable goals (be they material or non-material), offering higher levels of wellbeing to individuals and to society at large, compared to previous or current conditions.
In unravelling the 'progress conundrum', the author draws on his own original research and field work experiences which dovetail with those of other scholars by complementing their findings and/or by offering different appraisals. The author adopts an inter-disciplinary approach that overcomes the 'silo-like compartmentalization' of fields of study. The said approach enables us to reach a better understanding of the complex reality of progress (or regression) in various domains.
"For readers who value long-term universal human wellbeing over short-term narrow goals, Mikdashi provides a blueprint for progress. Readers will be inspired to support the author’s call for a periodic impartial and comprehensive State of the Globe assessment." — John Gault, economist, Co-Director of and Lecturer in the Executive Masters Program, Oil and Gas, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
"Zuhayr Mikdashi has worked tirelessly to introduce new perspectives to provide policymakers with a meaningful opportunity to pursue their development aims while, in the meantime, meeting the aspirations of the populations involved. Zuhayr Mikdashi’s rich and diverse academic, research and practice covers many fields which reflect the expansion of the range of challenges facing the globalized world. It also corresponds to the inflated content of commitments in the agendas of intergovernmental negotiations. In this respect, given the complexity of the issues, fresh avenues, which imply holistic and multidisciplinary approaches, as well as precise definitions, are indispensable." — Antoine Basile, Former UN Interregional Adviser on Investment and Technology
"A moving and cultured cri de coeur of a Levantine humanist and intellectual." — Michel Habib, University of Zurich, Switzerland
1. Unravelling the "Wellbeing Conundrum" 2. GDP Growth Versus Wellbeing 3. "Value Pies": Roles of Governments, Businesses, and Markets 4. Case Studies 5. Evolving Wellbeing 6. Toward an Overaching Strategy 7. Appendix