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Bartolini, Stefano

We live in rich countries and that has allowed us to resolve many problems. We have freed ourselves of mass poverty, we have access to consumer goods, to education, health care, we live longer and better etc. Regardless of this many of us seem to live in a state of uneasiness and malaise. Our social and interpersonal relationships also seem to suffer increasing difficulties and our natural environment is subject to growing threats.We are in effect faced with three crises of sustainability,that of well-being, that of relationships and that of environment. Furthermore we have no time: We live in a hurry amongst people in a hurry. The promise of economic growth to free us from thefatigue of work seems largely to have been a betrayal. Work continues to take up the majority of people's vital energy and working experience from westerners is often describe by words like, stress, time pressure, time squeeze, time poverty. Why?To become richer economically do we necessarily have to become poorer in our relationships, well-being, time and environment? And above all; is there another way? These are the questions around which my scientific activity has developed.

In recent years, these issues have become very topical. They have been at the center of a vast debate and have fueled an intense activity involving all branches of social science. I believe that we can now begin to extract some clearly defined answers out of this enormous amount of contributions. They indicate that an alternative path does exist. So I felt that the time had come to collect these answers, from others and mine as well, in a book, and, given the great political significance of such answers, that this book should be written in a widely accessible language. These answers can, in fact, lead to a radical reform of political agendas. This book has already been published in Italy, where it is a best-seller, and will soon appear in the United States (Pennsylvania University Press) and in France (“Les liens qui libèrent”). The English title is: “Manifesto for Happiness: Shifting Society from Money to Well-Being”.


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