By Bent Greve

© 2012 – Routledge

134 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415682947
pub: 2011-11-09
US Dollars$44.95
Hardback: 9780415682930
pub: 2011-11-04
US Dollars$145.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Although happiness is based upon individuals’ subjective perception of their own situation, understanding the concept of happiness is important for forming policies in modern societies. Taking into account discussions from disciplines across the social sciences, this book explores varying notions of happiness and how these are applied to create a theoretical understanding of the concept.

The book then goes on to demonstrate how a general theoretical concept of happiness can be used to add to our knowledge of central aspects of modern society, ranging from questions related to welfare state analysis, through to evaluating everyday life for individual people. In doing so, Happiness presents an up-to-date and applied account of how happiness is now widely used in economics, sociology, psychology and political science, whilst also exploring the relationship between happiness and public policy.


"… up-to-date, offers a blend of philosophical underpinnings and empirical work, and constitutes a solid introduction for intelligent lay readers and more well-versed scholars." - A. R. Sanderson, CHOICE, September 2012

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. What is Happiness 3. Can we Measure Happiness? 4. Happiness and Public Policy - Any Connection? 5. Why we Need a New Measurement of Welfare 6. Conclusions

About the Author

Bent Greve is Professor in Social Science with an emphasis on welfare state analysis of the University of Roskilde, Denmark. His research interest focuses on the welfare state, and social and labour market policy, often from a comparative perspective. He has published extensively on social and labour market policy, social security, tax expenditures, public sector expenditures and financing of the welfare state. He is regional and special issues editor of Social Policy & Administration. Recent books include Choice (2010), Social Policy and Happiness in Europe (2010), and Occupational Welfare (2007).

About the Series

Key Ideas

This popular series covers the main concepts, issues, debates and controversies in sociology and the social sciences. The books are concise and informative yet lively. Written by leading authorities in the field, they give students access to 'new sociology' in manageable form.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General