In the zeitgeist of the twenty-first century, "wellbeing" occupies a special place. It is an ideal of personal and communal living, as well as a concept to help us move beyond the tired old categories of progress — such as money, fame, and the gross national product.
But despite the noble sentiment around redefining our perception of wellbeing, what exactly it is and how we should measure it remains elusive, and certainly not for lack of effort. The last thirty years have seen a huge rise of investigations into wellbeing in the social sciences and humanities. This academic work has been institutionalized, with new journals, professional societies, and research centers. It is now making successful inroads into the worlds of public policy, commercial self-help, and HR management.
But has this latest wave of effort been a success?
This research paper on The Science of Wellbeing, co-authored by philosopher Anna Alexandrova and public policy scholar Mark Fabian, dives deep into this question. Alexandrova and Fabian first discuss the state of wellbeing research across key disciplines before turning to look at current and emerging trends – including measurement, impact of wellbeing public policy, and integration of wellbeing theories and perspectives.