Ageing and international development: a critical review

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This chapter argues that global policy frameworks addressing ageing and development suffer from a number of fundamental flaws. First, they are often premised upon simplistic understandings of development processes and misleading definitions of later life. Second, they are fixated on issues of pension policy and income security, ignoring many other issues of critical importance to older people in developing countries. This chapter begins by briefly reviewing notions of “international development”. This shows that developments can be interpreted in different ways and that these interpretations have important consequences for how we identify and perceive ageing and development issues. The chapter provides goes on to demonstrate how ageing and older people have remained a relatively marginal concern for global development agencies, and how this has been supplanted by a narrow focus on pension reform. This leads on to a discussion of the simplified and largely negative portrayal of older people in development thinking. The consequences of this limited approach are briefly illustrated with case studies from India and South Africa. The chapter concludes by making a number of suggestions about how to move towards a more nuanced and helpful understanding of ageing and development issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDie alten der welt
EditorsLutz Leisering
PublisherInstitute of World Social Studies, Bielefeld
ISBN (Print)9783593394107
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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