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153609 - Respecting the subject in wellbeing public policy.pdf (1.7 MB)

Respecting the subject in wellbeing public policy: beyond the social planner perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 13:56 authored by Mark Fabian, Alexandrova, A, Coyle, D, Agarwala, M, Felici, M
We compare and evaluate two competing paradigms in the 'wellbeing public policy' (WPP) space with the intention of promoting interdisciplinary dialogue. We argue that most WPP proposals adopt the same 'social planner perspective' (SPP) that undergirds conventional economic policy analysis. The SPP is broadly technocratic, emphasising scientific standards for what constitutes good policy and empowering ‘dispassionate’ experts. We argue that WPP could lend itself to a more transformative agenda, one that embraces the value-laden nature of 'wellbeing' as a concept. We call this the 'citizen's perspective' (CP). It would see WPP relinquish the SPP's stance of detached analysis by technical experts and instead give a greater role to participatory and deliberative modes of policymaking to define, analyse, and measure wellbeing and ultimately make policy decisions. We present a preliminary framework for analysing when the SPP or CP is more suitable to a particular area of WPP.


Publication title

European Journal of Social Psychology






John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Place of publication

The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, England, W Sussex, Po19 8Sq

Rights statement

© 2022. The Authors. Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Public services policy advice and analysis

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