The politics of old age

Older people's interest organisations and collective action in Ireland

By Martha Doyle

The politics of old age


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9047-9
  • Pages: 128
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: December 2014
  • BIC Category: Politics, Central / national / federal government policies, Care of the elderly, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General, Society & social sciences / Care of the elderly


The politics of old age in the twenty first century is contentious, encompassing ideological debates about the rights and welfare entitlements of individuals in later life. An important aspect is the manner in which older people and their representative groups are given the opportunity to articulate their interests in the policy-making process. Drawing upon key literature in political science, social gerontology and cultural sociology, The politics of old age explores the relationship between ageing, politics and representation. It reveals the complexity of older people's representation and how the power the organisations exercise, their legitimacy and existence remain highly contingent on government policy design, political opportunity structures and the prevailing cultural and socioeconomic milieu. This book is essential reading for policymakers and organisations interested in ageing, policy and the political process and for students of ageing, social policy and political sociology.


Martha Doyle is a Visiting Researcher in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College, Dublin


1. Introduction: Contextualizing the 'politics of old age'
2. Collective action and the nexus of political and cultural systems
3. Older people's interest organisations
4. The political, economic and social policy context
5. Older people's interest organisations: directors and members
6. Policy makers' perspectives of older people's interest representation
7. The nexus of resources, political opportunity structures and collective identities
8. Looking forward

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