25th volume celebration paper
(Alan Walker's paper, ‘Towards a political economy of old age’, was published in Volume 1 of Ageing & Society (part 1: 73–94).)
Towards an international political economy of ageing
This article is an initial scoping exercise for a research agenda on the international political economy of ageing. It begins with a brief review of the various critiques of the political economy perspective that have been made over the 25 years since the first article on the subject. Remarkable for its absence has been criticism of the neglect of an explicit international perspective. Then the article emphasises that it is not globalisation per se that is problematic but its dominant neo-liberal economic form. It is mainly because of this globalisation and the related growth in the power of international governmental organisations, such as The World Bank, that an international political economy of ageing is required. The bulk of the article is devoted to an outline of the eight key elements that might comprise a theoretical and empirical research agenda for social gerontology. These key elements are: global inequality in old age, development and ageing, globalism and the power of international governmental organisations, trans-national corporations, the nation state, supra-national regional structures, the United Nations, and international non-governmental organisations. In the spirit of the other articles that have celebrated the journal's 25th anniversary, this paper is intended to stimulate scientific debate.(Published Online November 4 2005)
(Accepted July 19 2005)
Key Words: political economy; globalisation; poverty; development.
c1 Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, Elmfield, Northumberland Road, Sheffield S10 2TU, UK. e-mail: email@example.com