Is wellbeing a useful concept for progressives?

Charles Seaford

Abstract

There is nothing new about striving for wellbeing but the concept is particularly useful at the moment, both because the need for an alternative to conventional measures of policy success is acute, and because developments in measurement and analysis make such an alternative practical. We need to ask how efficient different forms of economic activity are at delivering what we really want, and to manage the trade-off between wellbeing now and wellbeing in the future. Wellbeing means we can. Labour, the UK’s largest progressive party, is about to create a new economic narrative and policy set. In this paper I argue that wellbeing could play a part in this process.