This chapter sets out the theoretical framework for the book. In relation to the first question – how and why has the idea of wellbeing risen up the political agenda? – it outlines concepts that relate to the diffusion of ideas across boundaries before turning to Kingdon’s multiple streams approach to understanding agenda-setting. This approach identifies three separate processes or ‘streams’ of problems, policies and politics that develop largely in isolation from each other but which present the greatest opportunity for policy change when they are brought together. In relation to the second question – what are the policy implications of this rising interest in the idea of wellbeing? – the analytical framework turns to Hall’s conception of social learning and contributions that subsequently developed this approach.
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