Pieter Vanhuysse and Achim Goerres, Eds.: Ageing Populations in Post Industrial Democracies: Comparative Studies of Policies and Politics

By Gordon, Catherine E. | Canadian Journal of Sociology, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Pieter Vanhuysse and Achim Goerres, Eds.: Ageing Populations in Post Industrial Democracies: Comparative Studies of Policies and Politics


Gordon, Catherine E., Canadian Journal of Sociology


Pieter Vanhuysse and Achim Goerres, eds., Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies: Comparative studies of policies and politics. London and New York: Routledge, 2012, 272 pp. $135.50 hardcover (978-0415603829)

We are living in the midst of change. Population ageing and economic challenges are putting great pressure on governments today. The current state of our global world creates somewhat unique circumstances to address these challenges that are experienced by many developed countries. This review of Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies, an edited book by Pieter Vanhuysse and Achim Goerres, praises the attempts made to understand these changes in the political arena. Below I describe the central findings and arguments, as well as note strengths and weaknesses.

Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies aims to understand and explain how the political and policy responses will be or are structured in relation to population ageing. It includes 11 comparative essays of two to 31 OECD countries, written by 12 European and American scholars. Pieter Vanhuysse and Achim Goerres open this collection by mapping the field of generational politics and policies among 30 OECD countries. Vanhuysse and Goerres argue that while demographic trends among these countries are universal, their respective welfare states are heterogeneous. The subsequent essays in this book tease out similarities and differences using a variety of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative.

The increasingly large proportion of older people in democratic societies potentially makes them a powerful group in the political domain. In Chapter 2, Sean Hanley studies this phenomenon by examining the success of pensioners' parties over the past two decades in 31 Western and Central Eastern European countries. Pensioners' parties lack political presence in Canada and the United States, and hence, these countries are not included. Canadian and American readers may be confused as to what these parties are until they read Hanley's overview of the development of pensioners' parties in Europe over the past few decades. Using qualitative comparative analysis methods, relative success is present in Western and Central Eastern countries that spent a high proportion of welfare on pensions and have adequate levels of self-organization among the old. Additional contributing factors varied between Western and Central Eastern countries that reflect their institutional political contexts.

Another gauge of gray political power is whether mainstream parties court older voters. Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba examines this influence in Chapter 3 through a textual analysis of party manifestos and media messages, as well as labor policies in Japan, Germany, and Italy--countries with some of the highest proportions of older persons in the world. Findings contrast the elderly power hypothesis because political parties across the left-right wing spectrum demonstrate a willingness to be unfavorable towards older individuals in these countries, albeit in different ways. Sciubba argues that in the context of globalization, political parties and policy makers experience greater pressure from economic challenges than from their large older electorate. This argument is also supported in Chapter 4 with respect to the implementation of an unpopular reform among voters.

In Chapter 4, Martin Hering examines how Germany and the United Kingdom, two countries with different political contexts, successfully implemented recent reforms to increase retirement ages. Hering argues this similar outcome had three conditions: An expert commission first raised intergenerational equity issues to the government and pushed for an increase in retirement ages, policy makers were concerned with curbing the rising spending on pensions as well as protecting low-income earners, and a coalition was formed among political parties as a blame avoiding strategy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pieter Vanhuysse and Achim Goerres, Eds.: Ageing Populations in Post Industrial Democracies: Comparative Studies of Policies and Politics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.