Political Gerontology: Population Ageing and the State of the State

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Aging book series (BRIEFSAGING)


Political gerontology reflects on the role of older people in the state. It considers older people in their roles as, for example, voters who shape the state in elections, and as welfare citizens who benefit from and contribute to welfare states. These roles differ between European countries, e.g. because of differences in welfare state provisions. Finally, this chapter discusses what possibilities governments have to encourage active ageing.


Welfare State Senior Citizen Pension Scheme Pension Benefit European Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Alan Walker, Daniel Béland, Lucie Vidovićová, and Marja Aartsen for their useful comments and suggestions concerning this chapter.


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Recommended Readings

  1. Komp, K. (2011). The political economy of the third age. In D. Carr & K. Komp (Eds.), Gerontology in the era of the third age (pp. 51–66). New York: Springer Publishing. This chapter describes the opportunities that population ageing provides to welfare states. It, therewith, underlines that older people can be a resource to welfare states, if governments implement suitable strategies. Google Scholar
  2. Mayer, K.-U., & Schoepflin, U. (1989). The state and the life course. Annual Review of Sociology, 15, 187–209. This article explains how welfare states are connected to life-courses, and therewith to old age. It, thereby, lays the groundwork for understanding the theoretical foundation of discussions on old age and welfare states. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Vanhuysse, P., & Goerres, A. (Eds.). (2012). Ageing populations in post-industrial democracies. Comparative studies of policies and politics. New York: Routledge. This book features chapters on different aspects of policies for ageing populations, such as pension reforms, attitudes to redistribution, and pensioners’ parties. In doing so, it provides insight into current debates. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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