The Pursuit of Human Well-Being

The Untold Global History

  • Richard J. Estes
  • M. Joseph Sirgy

Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxvi
  2. Historical Conceptions of Well-Being over the Long Term

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-2
    2. Alex C. Michalos, Daniel Weijers
      Pages 31-57
    3. Shawn Arthur, Victor H. Mair
      Pages 59-82
    4. Isabelle Clark-Decès, Frederick M. Smith
      Pages 83-107
    5. Mohsen Joshanloo
      Pages 109-131
  3. Domains of Well-Being

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-134
    2. M. Joseph Sirgy, Richard J. Estes, Audrey N. Selian
      Pages 135-157
  4. Regional Analyses of the History and Contemporary State of Well-Being Since World War II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-160
    2. Valerie Møller, Benjamin Roberts
      Pages 161-215
    3. Mariano Rojas, José de Jesús García Vega
      Pages 217-255
    4. Richard J. Estes, Kenneth C. Land, Alex C. Michalos, Rhonda Phillips, M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 257-299
    5. Vijay Kumar Shrotryia, Krishna Mazumdar
      Pages 349-380
    6. Mahar Mangahas, Edilberto C. De Jesus
      Pages 381-408
    7. Wolfgang Glatzer, Jürgen Kohl
      Pages 409-452
    8. Robert A. Cummins, Tanja Capic
      Pages 453-491
    9. Habib Tiliouine, Mohammed Meziane
      Pages 523-563
  5. Special Issues Related to the Well-Being of Nations and Population Groups

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 607-608
  6. Epilogue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 689-690
    2. Richard J. Estes, M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 691-741
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 743-808

About this book


This handbook informs the reader about how much progress we, the human race, have made in enhancing the quality of life on this planet. Many skeptics focus on how the quality of life has deteriorated over the course of human history, particularly given World War II and its aftermath. This handbook provides a positive perspective on the history of well-being. Quality of life, as documented by scientists worldwide, has significantly improved. Nevertheless, one sees more improvements in well-being in some regions of the world than in others. Why? This handbook documents the progress of well-being in the various world regions as well as the differences in those regions. The broad questions that the handbook addresses include: 
  • What does well-being mean? 
  • How do different philosophical and religious traditions interpret the concept of well-being within their own context
  • Has well-being remained the same over different historical epochs and for different regions and subregions of the world?
  • In which areas of human development have we been most successful in advancing individual and collective well-being? In which sectors has the attainment of well-being proven most difficult?
  • How does well-being differ within and between different populations groups that, for a variety of socially created reasons, have been the most disadvantaged (e.g., children, the aged, women, the poor, racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities)?


Historical Traditions of Well-Being Quality of Life Indicators Well-Being of Nations and Population Groups Contemporary State of Well-Being Domains of Well-Being Well-Being in Western Countries Well-Being in East Asia Well-Being in South Asia Well-Being in Islamic Countries Well-Being in Latin America Well-Being in North America Well-Being in Europe Well-Being in Oceania

Editors and affiliations

  • Richard J. Estes
    • 1
  • M. Joseph Sirgy
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social Policy and PracticeUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Pamplin College of Business Department of MarketingVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)BlacksburgUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-39100-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-39101-4
  • Series Print ISSN 2468-7227
  • Series Online ISSN 2468-7235
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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