This article describes a new methodology for monitoring multidimensional social development using social clocks: comparisons with so called reference trajectories make it possible to establish the development stage of a country along a number of independent time axes, thus affording new opportunities for analyzing leads, lags, and asynchronies between variables and countries. This article explores these new possibilities and discusses some of the difficulties in the use of social clocks. To demonstrate the fruitfulness of the new concepts, the article presents an application of the methodology by analyzing the socio-economic development of ten Eastern European countries in the period before they joined the European Union.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Adam, B. (1995). Timewatch: The social analysis of time. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Aldenderfer, M., & Blashfield, R. (1991). Cluster analysis. Newbury Park: Sage.
Allan, P. (1987). Social time. In C. Cioffi-Revilla, et al. (Eds.), Communication and interaction in global politics (pp. 95–113). Beverly Hills: Sage.
Eurostat. (2010a). Retrieved January 16, 2010, from http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/statistics/search_database.
Eurostat. (2010b). Retrieved January 16, 2010, from http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/refreshTableAction.do?tab=table&plugin=1&init=1&pcode=tin00060&language=en.
Eurostat. (2010c). Retrieved January 16, 2010, from http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tps00060&plugin=1.
Eurostat. (2010d). Retrieved January 16, 2010, from http://nui.epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nama_gdp_c&lang=en.
Eurostat. (2010e). Retrieved January 16, 2010, from http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tps00027&plugin=1.
Everitt, B. (1993). Cluster analysis. London: Edward Arnold.
Inglehart, R. (1977). The silent revolution: Changing values and political styles among western publics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and postmodernization: Cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Jakubowicz, K. (2007). Rude awakening: Social and media change in central and eastern Europe. Cresskill (NJ): Hampton Press.
Kim, J.-O., & Mueller, Ch. (1998). Factor analysis: Statistical methods and practical issues. Newbury Park: Sage.
Mueller, G. (2005a). The institutional clocks of the welfare state: Interference and synchronization. In M. Herkenrath, et al. (Eds.), The future of world society (pp. 309–332). Zurich: Intelligent Book Production.
Mueller, G. (2005b). Divergence and synchronization of the institutional clocks of the welfare state. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 46, 487–506.
OECD. (2009). Society at a glance 2009: OECD social indicators. Paris: OECD.
Sablier, A. (1997). Une nouvelle approche des phénomènes sociaux: Les horloges sociales (Social clocks: A new approach to social phenomena). Paris: L’Harmattan.
Schadler, S., et al. (2006). Growth in the central and Eastern European countries of the European Union. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Sicherl, P. (1978). S-distance as a measure of the time dimension of disparities. In Z. Mlinar & H. Teune (Eds.), The social ecology of change (pp. 237–268). Beverly Hills: Sage.
Sicherl, P. (1992). Integrating comparisons across time and space: Methodology and applications to disparities within Yugoslavia. Journal of Public Policy, 12, 377–403.
Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (2007). Using multivariate statistics. Boston: Pearson.
World Bank (2008). 2008 world development indicators. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Zerubavel, E. (2003). Time maps: Collective memory and the social shape of the past. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
About this article
Cite this article
Mueller, G.P. On the Use of Social Clocks for the Monitoring of Multidimensional Social Development. Soc Indic Res 102, 23–37 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-010-9720-6
- Social time
- Time leads
- Time lags
- Social development
- Eastern Europe