Theory and Practice in Europe
Edited by Rune Ervik and Tord Skogedal Lindén
Chapter 8: Policy paradigms and ideological frames in British and Norwegian ageing policy processes
In this chapter we focus on demographic change as a long-term political issue and the ways in which this is addressed in selected relevant policy documents and discussions. Particular attention is given to how key actors set the policy agenda and justify potentially unpopular reforms in framing policy alternatives. This provides an opportunity to address the broad and encompassing aspects of ageing policy by analysing the most relevant policy proposals. We ask: how is the challenge of demographic ageing understood and addressed in the UK and Norway? How are ageing policies justified and framed in these two countries? Which of the kinds of ageing discourse (active/productive) presented in the introductory chapter dominates? By comparing welfare states, we explore the relative impact of institutional configurations and the role of policy ideas across cases. The Nordic welfare model to which Norway belongs is characterized by comparatively strong public responsibility for welfare concerning employment, finance, organizations, regulation and policy scope, and its outcomes provide a comparatively equal income distribution, low levels of poverty and high levels of social stability (Kuhnle 2011, p. 256).