Research on well-being reveals the significance of personal relationships, trust and participation to sustain quality of life, yet it is the economic model that remains the dominant basis for political and social institutions and policy.In this original book, Bill Jordan presents a new analysis of well-being in terms of social value, and outlines how it could be incorporated into public policy decisions. He argues that the grandiose attempt to maximise welfare and regulate social relations through contract, in line with the economic theory of information and incentives, is counterproductive for well-being. Instead, both the quality of personal experience and the restraints necessary for a convivial collective life would be better served by a focus on cultures and institutions. This book will be an essential text for academics and students in social theory, social welfare, public policy and governance.Bill Jordan is Professor of Social Policy at Plymouth and Huddersfield Universities. He has held visiting chairs in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia and Hungary. He worked for 20 years in the UK social services, and is the author of 25 books on social policy, social theory, politics and social work.