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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Anna Skarpelis

Sociology and political science
Since January 2009
(PhD Students, January 1, 2009 - January 31, 2009)
  • Institutional change
  • Interest groups
  • Collective action
  • Social Policy
  • Civil society

Dissertation abstract

The dissertation explores the origin and development of organizations representing pensioners’ interests in three social policy domains (health care, long term care insurance, pensions) in three countries: Japan, Germany and the United States. Taking a comparative historical approach, the theoretical underpinnings are derived from interest group, political theory and social movement literature. The period of analysis will span the time between the end of the Second World War and 2008 and as such take account of both welfare state expansion and retrenchment and the subsequent reactions of interest groups to these events.

My aspiration in the dissertation is threefold. The first part of the dissertation is of a theoretical nature and deals with the problem of how, and under which set of circumstances, interests emerge and eventually come to be represented, or remain unrepresented. The second and third parts are of an empirical nature and will compare the three country cases. In the second part, I propose to explain the origins and subsequent development of organizations representing or defending the interests of the elderly, in the third part how the system of old age interest representation fits into or diverges from the supposed national models of interest representation.