|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Encyclopedia of Political Thought|
|Editors||Michael T. Gibbons|
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons, Inc.|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 2015|
Should happiness be an aim of public policy or legislation? Is it permissible for a state to take account of happiness when formulating its laws and policies? Is happiness the purpose or one of the purposes for constituting a polity? Indeed, is happiness even a political concept, or does it concern matters that are so private that they should remain beyond the reach of politics? This entry addresses these questions as simultaneously historical (on what principles has a state been constituted?) and normative (by what right can happiness be an aim of politics?).