The inequality of progress
By: Mahar Mangahas -
Over time, some people get better off, and some others get worse off. To gauge the progress of the whole group, it is fruitless to try to measure the gains of the former and the losses of the latter. On the ground that all people are inherently equal, I think any measure, such as per capita income, that uses averaging to allow the welfare of a few to outweigh the welfare of the many, should be rejected.
It is simpler, more democratic and scientifically sound to count the gainers, rather than their gains, and the losers, rather than their losses. By comparing the number of gainers and losers, one can see that there has been constant progress among the Filipino people since 2015. Most recently, the gainers were 38 percent of adults, whereas the losers were 21 percent (“First Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey: Net Gainers remain ‘Very High’ at +17,” www.sws.org.ph, 5/24/19).
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/122420/the-inequality-of-progress
No e-mail required!
➲ The gender bias in the field of economics
➲ The soft skills you need to succeed as an economist
➲ Climate change and how economics can help solve it
➲ What makes a successful economist
➲ An interview with Princeton Professor, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
➲ Winners of the INOMICS Awards 2019
➲ Recommended study and career opportunities
Using big data to measure the relationship between happiness and political events and strike actions.
Talita Greyling and Stephanie Rossouw developed a Gross National Happiness (GNH) index using big data. This index enables them to measure the affect happiness of a nation in near real-time. The duo launched this index on 30 April in South Africa ahead of the elections (that took place on 8 May) and followed happiness levels during and after the elections. They found strong correlations between the political event and happiness.
The GNH index was launched in New Zealand and Australia during the week of 13 May. Consequently, the elections in Australia on 18 May allowed them to track happiness levels in the same manner that they did for South Africa. The results obtained, further illustrate the strong effect political events have on affect happiness.
Next up, they will test the GNH index in New Zealand when the country experiences their largest industrial strike action in recorded history on 29 May 2019. This industrial action will include both primary and secondary teachers demonstrating against the government, regarding their wages and working conditions. They are very excited to see how the GNH of New Zealand, will be influenced by this strike. Anecdotally, it is believed that New Zealanders are behind the teachers but what will the data reveal?
The newly constrcuted GNH index has attracted the attention of international media, governments, political parties and financial players, especially in South Africa, though also in New Zealand and Australia. All of this signals the realisation by people that economic, political and social events cannot be interpreted without considering the subjective wellbeing of people.
The researchers are still refining and improving the index and are eager to share their results with all of you in Granada in September.
Talita and Stephanie
Congratulations to ISQOLS members, M. Joseph Sirgy, Richard J. Estes, El-Sayed El-Aswad, Don R. Rahtz, on the publication of their new book:
"Combatting Jihadist Terrorism through Nation Building: A Quality-of-Life Perspective"
Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion and its societies are among the most influential worldwide. But that has been case for more than 5,000 years given that the ancient peoples of the countries of the MENA region and, in recent centuries, following the death of the prophet in 632 of the Common Era. What became known as “Arabs” in recent centuries were and are peoples who all share with the rest of the world the beauty of their literature, poetry, song, and dance, the beauty of the Koran which builds on religious beliefs and written sacred texts, extraordinary artwork, and architecture, and the lingering puzzlements of the Giza plateau which shares the three great pyramids and likely the much older Sphinx among other architectural feats that have not been uncovered. Arab scientists also gave us the “0” digit that has proven to be so essential to modern mathematics, unparalleled advances in science and technology, a higher quality of paper, and, most important for the purposes of this book, a spirit of tolerance for persons of other religious and cultural background.
This volume traces an anomaly in the Arab/Islamic communities, that of intolerance, violence, and even terrorism. But all four authors have sought to weave together a coherent history and explanation of the small number of radical Islamists who engage in violence not only in their societies but in those of larger MENA region as well and the world. We believe we have succeeded in achieving our original intention in putting together this book within both a historical and contemporary content. All four authors believe that this monograph fills a major gap in the contemporary literature concerning the drivers of violence within and between Islamic communities and other nations. We hope that readers will agree with us on this important accomplishment (along with the rich array of references that also are found throughout the volume).
The Book’s Organization
Though theoretically-based in its conception an organization the volume is, nonetheless written in a style and language that is easily accessible the educated reader. In all, the book is divided into eight chapters, each of which is history and extended contemporary references for use by educators in incorporating the most important part of the monograph’s conferences into relevant international and comparative contentment on the theory, research, and quality of life intervention in various regions of the world with a special focus on the 411 million people living in the highly diverse nationals of North Africa and West Asia—the Middle East or MENA region of the world.
The first chapter (Chapter 1: In Search of a Roadmap to Peace and Understanding) introduces to the reader a quality-of-life model that addresses the drivers of Jihadist terrorism from which we deduce counterterrorism programs. Specifically, we provide suggestive evidence to show increased incidence of Jihadist terrorism is mostly motivated by increased negative sentiment of aggrieved Muslims toward their more affluent Western neighbors. This negative sentiment is influenced by a host of quality-of-life factors: economic ill-being factors (e.g., income disparities, poverty, and unemployment; and disparities in technological innovation), political ill-being factors (e.g., authoritarian tribal and exclusionary regimes), religious ill-being factors (e.g., increased Islamic religiosity, and lack of secularism), globalization and media ill-being factors (e.g., the global media), and cultural ill-being factors (e.g., perceived decadence of Western culture, and Western prejudice and discrimination).
Chapter 2(Jews, Christians, and Muslims: Historical Conflicts and Challenges) summarizes the MENA region’s rich social, political, cultural, and religious history and brings that history up to the present. We tried to demonstrate that the region’s contemporary history of Islamist jihadism and terrorism is rooted in socio-political forces that have been at play for many centuries, indeed, in the case of the region’s Jews and Christians, for millennia. These drivers of terrorism, in turn, are based on the high level of grievance that members of the region’s three major religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have endured almost since their establishment. Conflicts with neighboring states, multiple periods of colonial occupation, and the forced displacement of large numbers of the region’s people also contribute to the high levels of violence associated with comparatively low levels of quality of life and well-being for a disproportionate percentage of the region’s population.
Chapter 3 (Joblessness, Political Unrest, and Jihadism among the Region’s Youth: Contemporary Challenges and Future Trends) addresses the major economic driver of Islamist jihadist terrorism, namely unemployment among the youth in the MENA region. This chapter explores the critical relationship that exists between the region’s patterns of economic development and its broad-based social gains since the year 2000 to the present. Special attention is given to the relationship that exists between economic frustration, the region’s rapidly increasing numbers of young people, the sense of relative deprivation experienced by these young people and, in some cases, their turning to violence, even terrorism, as an outlet for expressing their frustration and sense of aggrievement toward others they believe to be responsible for their poverty and, more fundamentally, sense of economic anomie.
Chapter 4 (Cultural Drivers of Jihadist Terrorism and Increasing Religiosity) focuses on cultural and religious factors related to the rise of the Islamist jihadist movement. We make the distinction between the Islamic worldview and ideology and place much of jihadist beliefs that motivate terrorist action in the category of ideology. We discuss the cultural drivers of jihadism couched in the context of religious-cultural paradigms. Specifically, we explore cultural and religious factors that drive the behavior or actions of radical Islamist jihadists toward violence, factors such as grievance and humiliation crisis, revenge and the need to defeat the enemy, establishment of the Islamic State and the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate, the vanguard of the ummah, martyrdom and reward in the afterlife, glorification of Allah, defending sacred places, the temporal paradigm, and chivalric and heroic feats.
Chapter 5 (Political Drivers of Islamist Jihad) focuses of tribal and exclusionary political actions of authoritarian regimes in the MENA. We make the case that those political drivers are associated with Islamist jihadist terrorist actions. We describe the history of authoritarian regimes of Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan and jihadist terrorist incidents in these countries. We then concluded with a discussion about Tunisia, a country that experienced authoritarian rule but emerged from this experience with democratic bearings.
In Chapter 6 (Globalization, the Media, and Islamist Jihad) we discuss five major themes directly related to globalization, the media, and their effects on the rise jihadist terrorism in the last 4-5 decades. These themes are (1) globalization and the breakdown of the welfare state; (2) globalization, consumerism, and postmodernism; (3) negative media portrayals of Islam and Muslims in Western and global media, (4) the use of global media by Wahhabis and Jihadi terrorists; and (5) the effects of media owned and operated by political Islamists.
Chapter 7 (Current Response: Counterterrorism Strategies Focusing on the Supply-Side of the Terrorism Market) describes how Western governments as well as governments in the MENA region respond to acts of Islamist jihadist terrorism. The focus seems to be on short-term public safety, or what we call “supply-side” strategies. These are strategies designed to dismantle the marketing organization of militant Islamic groups. Supply-side strategies cannot effectively address the problem of radical Islam without developing compatible demand-side strategies—counterterrorism strategies designed to reduce demand. Thus, demand-side counterterrorism strategies serve to complement supply-side strategies. We tried in this chapter to describe current terrorism policy and action focusing on the supply-side of the terrorism market.
Finally, in Chapter 8 (Proposed Response: Counterterrorism Strategies Focusing on the Demand Side of the Terrorism Market), we recommend counterterrorism strategies focusing on the demand side of the terrorism market. We do so by focusing of drivers of market demand: culture, religion, economy, politics, globalization, and media. We propose specific counterterrorism strategies that are directly deduced from our analysis of the drivers of market demand.
The volume will be published by Springer by mid-summer 2019 as part of the recently developed series on Human Well-Being Research and Policy-Making. In addition to the current volume, other books in the series include el-Sayed el-Aswad, Professor Anthropology (United Arab Emirates [UAE]), The Quality of Life and Policy Issues among the Middle East and North African Countries (2019); and, Vijay Kumar Shrotryia, Professor of Business (India), Human Well-Being and Policy-Making in South Asia.
Click the link below for the .pdf version of this announcement and summary:
E-News-Sinet n 190308.pdf
The RC55, the Research Committee on Social Indicators of the International Sociological Association, is organizing its next mid-term conference on “Comparative Perspectives on Social Indicators” in the context of 13th Spanish Congress of Sociology (Valencia, Spain, 3–6 July 2019).
In the context of 13th Spanish Congress of Sociology (Valencia, Spain, 3–6 July 2019)
RC55 Research Committee on Social Indicators
invitation to participate in the 2019 Mid-term Conference
“Comparative Perspectives on Social Indicators”
Call for abstracts
Grupo de Trabajo 43 (Work Group 43) ISA Research Committee 55: Social Indicators
From 3 to 6 July 2019 the 13th Spanish Sociology Conference, with the theme: Societies at the crossroads, the commitments of sociology, will be held in Valencia, Spain. The Spanish Federation of Sociology will organise the conference with the assistance of the Universidad de Valencia and the Asociación Valenciana de Sociología.
The RC55 Research Committee on Social Indicators of the International Sociological Association is pleased to invite authors to submit abstracts for oral presentations that address comparative research in the study of social reality, focusing on the construction and use of social indicators in comparative research among countries (including comparisons among regions or cities). Contributions can be of theoretical nature, applied studies or methodological reflections (either in a quantitative, qualitative or mixed perspective), but with a clear comparative focus (i.e. measurement and study of same phenomena in different countries). Thematically, contributions to all social indicators domains are welcome, like, for instance, social inequality, consumption, wellbeing, etc.
We expect to received contributions in some of these topics:
A publishing opportunity for participants at Special Issue on Social Indicators Research A selection of contribution will be invited after the conference to submit a full version (on September) of their contribution for possible publication in a forthcoming Special Issue of Social Indicators Research Journal.
Abstract submissions Deadline: December 31th, 2018. Extended to March 15th, 2019 for GT 43 group - ISA RC 55 group- Confirmation of acceptance: April 11th, 2019
Length of abstracts: maximum of 250 words.
Registration: Opening: 08 March 2019 Early registration period: 26 April 2019 All accepted abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings if the registration fee was paid up to 07 May 2019. Conference proceedings publication: 22 May 2019
Coordinator Task Group: Sandra Fachelli (Pablo de Olavide University - University Autonomous of Barcelona)
Task Group Members: Christian Suter (Université de Neuchâtel), Joonmo Son (National University of Singapore), Jeroen Boelhouwer (The Netherlands Institute for Social Research), Enrico Di Bella (University of Genoa), Pedro Lopez-Roldán (University Autonomous of Barcelona) and Eduardo Bericat (Universidad de Sevilla).
Send abstract to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow this recommendation: Subject: GT 43 ISA Research Committee 55: Social Indicators Body of message: Title of Proposal: Contribution Topic: Abstract: Name and Surname Author 1. Filiation Author 1. Author e-mail. Name and Surname Author 2. Filiation Author 2. Author e-mail. Name and Surname Author 3. Filiation Author 3. Author e-mail. Identify author of contact.
Practical information • Conference website http://www.congresofes.com/index.cfm?id_idioma=EN • GT43 ISA Research Committee 55: Social Indicators: http://www.congresofes.com/gt-43-isaresearch-committee-55-social-indicators_798741332_69519.html • Accommodation coming soon in: http://www.congresofes.com/alojamiento_798741576_67893.html
FES_GT43 General Call.pdf
Recruitment of Four Researchers in Psychology
Opening of the recruitment process of four researchers in the field of Psychology, to collaborate in an "Experimental Study on the Impact of Singing Groups on the Well-being, Cognitive Function and Health of Older Adults."
Intervention research project with the Scientific Supervision of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (Doctor Iolanda Costa Galinha) and ISCTE-IUL (Doctor Maria Luísa Lima), in partnership with the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Almada and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, funded by the “Orçamento Participativo Portugal” (2017) and promoted and coordinated by the DGArtes.
Objective: Collaboration in the writing of one scientific paper and one scientific poster.
Work location: at distance (by means of two reports per month, supervised by the scientific coordination of the project).
Remuneration: € 4500 gross payment in four branches at the conclusion of the: (1) introduction (including state of the art) and method; (2) results; and (3) discussion sections of the paper; and (4) the scientific poster.
Duration: 12 months, starting 1st May 2019.
(1) Master or PhD in Psychology or Social Sciences;
(2) good command (written and spoken) of the English language;
(3) advanced statistical knowledge, with experience in both SPSS and AMOS.
Preference for researchers with scientific experience:
(1) in topics related to aging;
(2) in experimental research methods.
Response to the announcement with the following documents, in one PDF file:
1. Synopsis of the Curriculum Vitae, highlighting:
(a) Academic qualifications, year and classifications (including certificates);
(b) List of the main scientific publications (up to 6 publications);
(c) Orcid Identifier;
(e) Research Fellowships;
(f) Collaborations in funded research projects.
2. Signed Complete Curriculum Vitae;
3. Letter in which the candidate, after analyzing the attached project (Annex 1) and based on the data collected in the study, proposes and frames in the literature a research question that will develop in an article (maximum 500 words, in English).
The selection process involves a first phase of documental analysis (90%) and a second phase of interview (10%).
Responses to the announcement until March 15
to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Annex 1: Abstract of the Project “Experimental Study of the Effects of Group Singing in the Well-Being, Cognitive Function, and Health of Older Adults.”
Background: Singing is a multimodal activity that requires physical, cognitive and psychosocial performance. It has the potential to improve the health of older adults in various dimensions and to promote active aging and independence. Previous studies suggest that singing is beneficial to the well-being of older adults, but the specific factors responsible for these benefits remain uncertain, as most of the studies do not analyze causal inferences. The present study responds to the need for further experimental studies with control group and follow-up measurement for the analysis of the causal effects of group singing on well-being, cognitive function and health in old age, with a higher validity of the research results.
Call for Book Proposals
Community Quality of Life and Well-Being
Aims and Scope of the Series
Series Editor: Rhonda Phillips, Purdue University, US
Editorial Board: Meg Holden, Simon Fraser University, Canada; Charlotte Khan, The Boston Foundation, US; Youngwha Kee, Soongsil University, Korea; Alex Michalos, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada; Don Rahtz, College of William and Mary, US; Joseph Sirgy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, US; Ben Warner, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., US
Community Quality of Life and Well-being is a book series comprised of volumes related to local and regional level research, providing current and leading edge information to planners, policy makers, and quality of life researchers involved in community and regional well-being research and application. Formerly entitled Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Practices, the series reflects the broad scope of well-being. In addition to best practices of community quality-of-life indicators projects the series welcomes a variety of research and practice topics as related to overall community well-being and quality of life dimensions, relating to policy, application, research, and/or practice. Research on issues such as societal happiness, quality of life domains in the policy construct, measuring and gauging progress, dimensions of urban and regional planning and community development, and related topics are anticipated.
This series is published by Springer in partnership with the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), a global society with the purpose of promoting and encouraging research and collaboration in quality of life and well-being theory and applications. More information about ISQOLS can be found at www.isqols.org. The Editor welcomes proposals for both edited volumes and authored monographs contributions on topics such as:
Please direct your inquiries or send your proposal to: Rhonda Phillips, email@example.com
For more information about the series: http://www.springer.com/series/13761
Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.
Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.
The PhD position will involve working on applied economics projects at the intersection of development, well-being, and labor economics. The successful candidate is expected to develop her/his own research agenda under the guidance of the PhD supervisors. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
The successful candidate is expected to play an active role in designing the PhD project, conducting literature reviews and developing theoretical arguments, analyzing data, writing scientific papers, and presenting research findings at scientific conferences and research seminars.
The project will be part of SOM’s research programme in Global Economics and Management.
We are looking for a candidate with:
Prior research experience is a plus.
The PhD Scholarship student will be enrolled in the PhD Scholarship Programme and receives a scholarship of €2,120 per month (gross) from the University of Groningen under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year. The monthly allowance is comparable to the first-year salary of PhD candidates with an appointment. For more information on the RUG PhD scholarship programme and its benefits please check the website at
An assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.
Starting date: Preferably September 1, 2019
If you are interested, you may apply for this position until 3 March 23.59h / before 4 March 2019, Dutch local time. Please click on the "Apply" button below. The application package consists of the following separate documents:
1. your cv and scan of your passport
2. a motivation letter (1A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max).
3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. proof of English proficiency
5. other relevant documents
The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.
Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.
For information you can contact:
Congratulations to ISQOLS Members, Leonie Steckermeier and Jan Delhey!
A recent study by Leonie Steckermeier and Jan Delhey (both ISQOLS members) from University Magdeburg is listed among the "Top 10 insights from the science of a meaningful life". This list is compiled by Greater Good, a
team of well-being researchers affiliated with Berkeley University. Each year they pick "the most provocative and influential findings".
The study featured is titled "Better for Everyone? Egalitarian Culture and Social Wellbeing in Europe", published in Social Indicators Research (2018, online first - open access).
To quote from the webpage:
"One recent study suggests another possibility: that when people live in more generally egalitarian cultures—marked by greater social trust and self-expression values—they are less likely to feel inferior to others, and so are happier as a result."
Click the link below to read the entire article, or read the excerpt below:
"Living in a country that promotes gender equality may seem like a good idea for many reasons. But does it really affect people’s well-being? A new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies put that question to the test.
Drawing from the World Values Survey—a large data pool tracking well-being around the world—researchers looked at how happy people were in Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. This they compared to specific measures of gender equality in each country, like educational attainment, gender balance in parliament, earned income, life expectancies, and more.
Ultimately, they found that people living in more egalitarian countries had greater overall well-being. This was true even taking into account people’s wealth and income, as well as whether a country was more “individualistic” or “collectivist,” among other factors. Additionally, when looking at changes within a country (rather than comparing countries), increases in gender equality during one year corresponded to greater overall well-being that year.
“The magnitude of the effect of inequality is quite pronounced, meaning that changes in the level of inequality are associated with substantively meaningful changes in the level of well-being,” the authors write.
While these effects were more pronounced for women, men were also better off in more egalitarian countries. Why? Perhaps egalitarianism allows men more emotional freedom, reducing their perceived need to conform to masculine ideals (which is tied to unhappiness); or happier women mean happier men (because of contagion effects). Or it could be that equity helps the economy overall, and that in turn influences everyone’s well-being.
One recent study suggests another possibility: that when people live in more generally egalitarian cultures—marked by greater social trust and self-expression values—they are less likely to feel inferior to others, and so are happier as a result.
Whatever the reason, the researchers conclude, “To the extent that governments wish to promote the happiness and well-being of their citizens, it may be sensible to prioritize equality.”
ISQOLS Job Announcement: Coordinating Editor, Social Indicator Network News (SINET).
The Coordinating Editor works and organizes the contents of each of three issues of SINET per year (February, May-August, November). This includes recruiting a member of ISQOLS or non-member scholars or practitioners to write a Review Essay on a social indicators/quality-of-life research topic and then working with the Executive Director of ISQOLS (Jill Johnson) to include other items per issue, including a letter from the ISQOLS, other announcements, etc. The ISQOLS Office then composes the contents each issue, arranges for reproduction, printing, and mailing.
The editorship is of a three-year term.
The candidate must be a current ISQOLS member and have demonstrated editing experience.
The ISQOLS offers a yearly honorarium of US$800 for editorial service.
Applicants must send an letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb 10, 2019.
Questions? Please email: email@example.com
Thank you for your enthusiastic support.
Please click here to learn more about SINET.
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The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)
P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, AZ 85299