This book explores the relationship between quality of life, policy, and political behavior. Using carefully collected, granular data, the authors create a measurement of quality of life for each county in the United States. After applying the index to each county and calculating scores, the results are applied to key political and social questions, such as, variation in voter turnout, electoral choices, and the allocation of federal aid. By tying quality of life directly to social and political outcomes, the index thus makes possible the development of policies that actually improve the quality of life of those they effect.
This book is divided into three sections. Section One delves into the theory of quality of life research and the indicators used in the development of the index. Section Two explores the relationship between quality of life and various political phenomena such as trust in government, political participation, electoral politics, direct democracy, government spending, and local government. Section Three discusses suggestions for incorporating life quality in the political and policy process and identifying strategies for the direct application of these principals by policymakers. This book will be useful for students and scholars interested in political behavior, political sociology, policy, and quality of life studies, as well as policymakers interested in incorporating quality of life studies in their work.
Ryan M. Yonk is Senior Research Fellow at Freedom Trust, a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and an Instructor in the Department of Political Science at Utah State University. Formerly held academic positions at Utah State University and Southern Utah University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Georgia State University. His recent works include The Reality of American Energy, Nature Unbound: Bureaucracy vs. the Environment, Green Vs. Green: Conflicts in Environmental Priorities as numerous journal article and policy reports focused on public policy and political economy.
Josh T. Smith is a Master's student in economics at Utah State University (2018). His recent works include several journal articles and numerous policy reports focused on public policy and political economy.
Chapter 1: Understanding Quality of Life.- Chapter 2: Building a Quality of Life Index.- Chapter 3: Effects of Quality of Life.- Chapter 4: Quality of Life and Trust.- Chapter 5: Quality of Life and Political Participation.- Chapter 6: Quality of Life and Electoral Politics.- Chapter 7: Quality of Life and Direct Democracy.- Chapter 8: Quality of Life and Government Spending.- Chapter 9: Quality of Life and Local Government.- Chapter 10: Conclusions and Implications.