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Book: Living Longer: Ageing, Development and Social Protection

30 Sep 2004

  • Author(s): Peter Lloyd-Sherlock

Accelerated population ageing is a global trend. It has long been a significant issue for developed countries, and it is now becoming one in the developing world. There is a tendency to depict population ageing as a threat to the future. Rather, it should be recognised as one of the great achievements of the past century, which generates a range of social, economic, political and cultural challenges. This book examines relationships between the well-being of older people and processes of development, taking examples from a diverse range of low-, middle- and high-income countries. The wellbeing and quality of life of older people are strongly conditioned by their capacity to manage opportunities and risks. Social protection, both formal and informal, can play a key role in mediating these processes.

The book is divided into three sections. The first explores the wellbeing of older people in selected, very different development contexts—the UK, Brazil, Ukraine and China. The second section focuses on formal social protection for older people. It includes evaluations of pension schemes in four middle-income countries, an assessment of Japan’s new long-term care insurance fund, and a comparison of health care financing for pensioners in the USA and Argentina. The third section considers informal social protection and the care economy. This is explored with reference to intergenerational relationships in Ghana, informal care in Mexico, the impact of HIV/AIDS on older people in Thailand, and a wider philosophical discussion of care and social justice.

Taken together, these chapters highlight the complexity of relationships between development and the way later life is experienced in various contexts. They identify key priorities for policymakers, and map out an urgent research agenda.

One of the key messages of Living Longer: Ageing, Development and Social Protection is the danger of generalisation: older people are an extremely heterogeneous group, with varying needs, capabilities and expectations.

Ageing, Development and Social Protection: Generalizations, Myths and Stereotypes, Peter Lloyd-Sherlock
Part I: Development Trajectories, Social Change and Wellbeing in Later Life
Long-Term Historical Changes in the Status of Elders: The United Kingdom as an Exemplar of Advanced Industrial Economies, Paul Johnson
Social Policy and the Wellbeing of Older People at a Time of Economic Slowdown: The Case of Brazil, Ana Amélia Camarano
The Impact of Transition on Older People in Ukraine: Looking to the Future with Hope, Vladislav V. Bezrukov and Natalia A. Foigt
Potential Consequences of Population Ageing for Social Development in China, Du Peng and David R. Phillips
Part II: Formal Social Protection and Older People
Comparing Pension Schemes in Chile, Singapore, Brazil and South Africa, Armando Barrientos
Ageing in Japan: An Issue of Social Contract in Welfare Transfer or Generational Conflict?, Tetsuo Ogawa
Health Policy and Older People in Africa, Di McIntyre
Social Health Insurance for Older People: A Comparison of Argentina and the United States, Nélida Redondo
Part III: Older People and the Care Economy
Intergenerational Family Support and Older Age Economic Security in Ghana, Isabella Aboderin
Ageing in Mexico: Families, Informal Care and Reciprocity—Cristina Gomes da Conceição and Veronica Montes de Oca Zavala
AIDS and Older Persons: The View from Thailand, John Knodel and Chanpen Saengtienchai
Care, Dependency, and Social Justice: A Challenge to Conventional Ideas of the Social Contract, Martha C. Nussbaum

Peter Lloyd-Sherlock is Senior Lecturer in Social Development at the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, UK.

Living Longer: Ageing, Development and Social Protection is co-published with Zed Books. Paperback ISBN 1 84277 357 7, 2004, £16.95; Hardback, ISBN 1 84277 356 9, 2004, £50.00.

Order from: Zed Books, 7 Cynthia Street, London N1 9JF, United Kingdom, Tel. 44 20 7837 4014; Fax 44 20 7833 3960; email: sales@zedbooks.demon.co.uk, www.zedbooks.co.uk