Measuring government performance and happiness: The end of public opinion as we know it?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

In the latest years a number of initiatives of national or international scope are challenging the suitability of Gross Domestic Production measures as the main indicator of societal wellbeing and proposing to shift the focus of measurement systems away from economic production to people’s holistic wellbeing. Such a change would have a strong impact on the formation of public opinion, for it would shift the ground of the public political discourse, from highly technical (and obscure to most ordinary citizens) indicators like economic statistics to issues that people directly experience in their lives. This would have the potential to support the deliberative process by allowing a more widespread and conscious participation. As a result, the public sphere could be rethought as a multiplicity of assorted public micro-spheres where varied social groups, depending on their interests and needs, could gather and develop diverse and independent evaluations concerning government performance and policies in various areas of action. In the meanwhile, the advent of a similar change in the shape of the public debate could eventually raise challenges of disgregation of audiences and society, and indicate a need to retune some traditional features of the role and the functioning of mass media like objectivity, journalistic professionalism and detachment and the role of statistics as authoritative measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLa Médiatisation de L’évaluation/Evaluation in the Media
EditorsJulie Bouchard, Etienne Candel, Helene Cardy, Gustavo Gomez-Mejia
Place of PublicationBerne
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783035203059
ISBN (Print)9783034316224
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2015


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