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Social Quality and Welfare System Sustainability

Alan Walker
The International Journal of Social Quality
Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 2011), pp. 5-18
Published by: Berghahn Books
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23971678
Page Count: 14
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Social Quality and Welfare System Sustainability
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Abstract

This article examines the extent to which the concept of social quality could contribute to a transformation in the debates about the welfare sustainability in Asia and Europe. The article starts by outlining the concept of social quality: its constitutional, conditional and normative components and the origins of its development as a European conceptual framework. Then a bridge is created between Europe and Asia by looking briefly at the similarities and differences between social quality and human security, a concept that is more familiar in the latter region than the former one. This is followed by a critique of the global discourses on 'sustainability' and, in particular, their dominance by economism. The final part of the article utilizes the concept of social quality to propose a more open and balanced approach to sustainability that brings in social and ecological considerations alongside economic ones. Some tentative suggestions are made concerning the operationalisation of a social quality approach to welfare system sustainability

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