Understanding well-being in policy and practice

Steven Smith, Gillian Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The enhancement and measurement of well-being, as well as its meaning and value, has been scrutinised considerably in recent years, and from various quarters. In academia, disciplines such as philosophy and applied ethics, psychology, and social policy analysis, have been discussing and researching well-being, and other related concepts. Also, in public policy and social welfare practices, the well-being of populations has become the focal point of Government policy and professional goals and objectives.

Given these developments, and others beside, the special issue provides a timely critical evaluation of four main areas of interest concerning well-being: (a) theoretical and practical issues regarding well-being’s meaning, value, relevance and usefulness in policy and practice (b) ethical issues associated with the methodological processes of measuring well-being (c) lay normativity concerning well-being’s meaning and how it is negotiated in reciprocal relations, and (d) the enhancement of well-being in public policy and practice, for both individual service-users and wider populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-217
JournalEthics and social welfare
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


  • well-being
  • political philosophy
  • social policy
  • social work


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