Reclaiming Happiness from Politics

Happiness is back, both in the sciences and in politics. While the economy is suffering from a systemic crisis, the time is ripe for an explicit happiness agenda that seeks to steer society consciously towards personal wellbeing. This essay – the first discussion paper in the series “Back to Basics” – embraces happiness as a relevant policy concern but refutes fundamentally the terms and the purpose of the current happiness revival. It ends with a call to save happiness from politics, and instead promote it through careful facilitation.