A Universal Declaration of Human Well-being

  • Annie Austin

Part of the Wellbeing in Politics and Policy book series (WPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Annie Austin
    Pages 1-12
  3. Well-being in Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Annie Austin
      Pages 15-24
    3. Back Matter
      Pages 35-36
  4. Well-being in Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 37-39
    2. Annie Austin
      Pages 41-51
    3. Annie Austin
      Pages 53-60
    4. Annie Austin
      Pages 61-68
    5. Annie Austin
      Pages 69-82
    6. Annie Austin
      Pages 83-92
    7. Back Matter
      Pages 93-94
  5. Well-being: A Reflective Equilibrium

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 95-95
    2. Annie Austin
      Pages 97-108
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 109-112

About this book


"This book makes a vital contribution to the current literature on human well-being. Through a condensed but incisive analysis of a wide range of sources, from ancient philosophy to the political constitutions of modern nation states, Annie Austin builds a strong case for a universal core of human well-being. Her identification of the vital importance of an "infrastructure of sociality" should be noted by academicians, politicians and policy-makers who are seeking to use well-being as a means of rethinking how we are to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
—Allister McGregor, University of Sheffield, UK

This book examines the differing policy implications of the different conceptions of wellbeing across the world. There is an ongoing debate, in both philosophical and policy circles, about the legitimacy of universal frameworks of wellbeing. Who should decide what it means to live a good life? Is it possible to arrive at a shared definition, or is there simply too much individual and cultural diversity in conceptions of the good life? By devising an ‘overlapping consensus’ on wellbeing, the book represents a starting point for political negotiation and public deliberation about the kinds of societies we (as collectivities) wish to create, and the kinds of lives we (as individuals embedded in those societies) want to live. The book provides philosophically-informed public policy insight, making it a valuable contribution to interdisciplinary wellbeing scholarship.

Annie Austin is Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy at the University of Manchester, UK.


Well-being flourishing Beyond GDP sociality values happiness Capabilities Approach integrity Europe North America Liberalism Latin America Buen Vivir Asia Communitarian values Africa Ubuntu conception of the good World Values Survey universal human well-being

Authors and affiliations

  • Annie Austin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Bibliographic information

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