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Happiness and government, Good parenting

Laurie Taylor asks if the government should aim to promote well being. Plus a look at the class bias in models of good parenting.

Happiness - Should the government promote it? Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, talks to Laurie Taylor about the necessity to inspire a better politics with new measures of what matters most to us. These would include the avoidance of misery, the gaining of long term life satisfaction, the feeling of fulfilment, of worth, of kindness, of usefulness and love. Politicians, he contends, should promote a collective good which incorporates these priorities. They're joined by Paul Ormerod, economist and Visiting Professor at UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty, who contends that policymakers should not claim that they can increase happiness through public policy decisions.

Also, do dominant ideals of 'good' parenting contain a class bias? Esther Dermott. Professor of Sociology, argues that the activities of the most educationally advantaged parents are accepted as the benchmark against whom others are assessed.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Available now

28 minutes


Professor Esther Dermott at the University of Bristol

Professor Danny Dorling at the University of Oxford

Danny Dorling's personal website

Professor Paul Omerod's personal website


Danny Dorling, A Better Politics: How Government Can Make Us Happier, (LPP, 2016)

Paul Ormerod, Positive Linking: How Networks can Revolutionise the World, (Faber and Faber, 2012)


  • Wed 20 Apr 2016 16:00
  • Mon 25 Apr 2016 00:15

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