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Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2160-2175; doi:10.3390/su6042160

Changing Paradigms: A Sketch for Sustainable Wellbeing and Ecosocial Policy

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Snellmaninkatu 10, PO Box 16, Helsinki 00014, Finland 2 Research Department, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Nordenskiöldinkatu 12, PO Box 450, Helsinki 00101, Finland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 April 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
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We live in the Anthropocene era, where human action has an unforeseen impact on global ecosystems. This is visible, for instance, in climate change, in the loss of biodiversity and in the acidification of the oceans. Little attention is given to the fact that the Anthropocene is related to anthropocentric thinking that also guides our policies. Therefore, we argue that ecologically and socially sustainable policies will not be achieved by incidental policy measures alone, but a change of paradigm is needed. In our article, we lay out the tenets of a relational paradigm resting on holistic thinking and deep ecology. On the basis of this paradigm, the principles, conceptions and goals specific to any given policy can be formulated, giving them a common ground. In this article, we apply the relational paradigm to social policy in order to contribute to the quest for sustainable wellbeing in the overconsuming welfare states. Here, we formulate a multidimensional and relational conception of wellbeing, the HDLB-model (Having-Doing-Loving-Being), which is a modification of sociologist Erik Allardt’s theory. We illustrate how this model could provide the foundation of a sustainable ecosocial policy.
Keywords: wellbeing; sustainability; social policy; environment; relationality wellbeing; sustainability; social policy; environment; relationality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Hirvilammi, T.; Helne, T. Changing Paradigms: A Sketch for Sustainable Wellbeing and Ecosocial Policy. Sustainability 2014, 6, 2160-2175.

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