Mapping the Field: Comparative Generational Politics and Policies in Ageing Democracies
AGEING POPULATIONS IN POST-INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACIES: COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF POLICIES AND POLITICS, Pieter Vanhuysse, Achim Goerres, eds., London: Routledge/ECPR Studies in European Political Science, 2012
31 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2011 Last revised: 28 Feb 2012
Date Written: March 30, 2011
Whereas the call for a political science based study of older people and ageing is not new (Cutler 1977; Heclo 1988), relatively little unified progress has been made so far. This chapter maps the field of generational politics and introduces our edited volume "Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies: Comparative Studies of Policies and Politics" (Vanhuysse and Goerres, eds., 2011). This book brings together an expert set of scholars to investigate generational politics and public policies within an explicitly comparative political science approach. It opens important political process black boxes by asking a number of central questions. How does population aging change political support for redistribution towards different age groups in society, including not just elderly people but also families with children? How, and when, do established parties in aging democracies implement policies that directly hurt the interests of the growing elderly voting bloc, such as pension generosity cutbacks and retirement age increases? Where, and when, do new ‘grey parties’ emerge on the political scene in Western and Eastern Europe and what, if anything, makes such pensioner parties persist over time? The answers provided in this volume promise to be of major interest to scholars in fields such as political economy, political sociology, social policy, comparative politics, demography, and gerontology.
Keywords: generational politics, population aging, welfare state politics, retrenchment tactics, pensions politics, grey party emergence, old democracies
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