I got the opportunity to contribute to the discussion on initiatives of “Going Beyond GDP”, looking for indicators that are not narrow-minded and stubborn in insisting that economic growth is a way of answering today’s challenges. Actually there are already since the 1960s/1970s searches and proposals for alternatives, not least known under the tilte Social Indicators.
In an article for the International Journal of Social Quality, titled Social Quality – Moving Forward I claim that
the following debate has to look also at the wider developments in the field of indicator research, since recently (again) claiming the need for acting as alternative to traditional GDP-oriented measurement of societal development. The major stance of the present argument is that indicators are not measurement instruments but instruments for developing an understanding of complex issues and their trends. Second, this requires to elaborate within the social quality approach more the interaction and relation between conditional, constitutional and normative factors. The central moment is the need to draw attention on ontological relationality – this is the third ambition of the article and it is in particular linked with a fourth moment, namely the plea for taking economics seriously within social quality thinking.