Pieter Vanhuysse

About Pieter Vanhuysse

Pieter Vanhuysse, PhD (LSE) is Professor of Comparative Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark. Previously, he was Head of Research and Deputy Director at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna (affiliated to the UN). His research on the political sociology of public policies and welfare states, intergenerational policy conflict, and population aging has been published in over forty journals including West European Politics, Public Choice, Political Studies, Social Policy & Administration, Journal of European Social Policy, Journal of Social Policy and Journal of Public Policy. Pieter has co-edited Post-Communist Welfare Pathways (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies (Routledge/ECPR, 2012). His book Divide and Pacify (CEU Press, 2006) was nominated for the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award for Political Sociology.

Intergenerational Justice in 29 Aging Societies

A 29-country snapshot. Population aging wide across the OECD has led to a renewed popular and theoretical interest in the notion of justice between generations. But efforts to measure intergenerational justice empirically have lagged behind. How can we improve policies when we do not know the state of affairs in terms of intergenerational justice in practice? At the request of the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Germany, I have developed a simple four-dimensional snapshot indicator to improve the cognitive toolkit of academics, journalists and policymakers: the Intergenerational Justice Index, or IJI. The aim is pragmatic and empirical: to compare intergenerational justice in practice across OECD member states. Continue reading

Toward a Comparative Politics and a Political Sociology of Population Aging

Do more older voters really lead to more pensioner power? Most rich democracies today are faced with significant population aging, as a combined result of longer life spans and lower fertility rates. Many now fear that elderly voters are becoming an immensely powerful political pressure group. After all, aging populations do not just entail more elderly people who are eligible to vote. These elderly electors also tend to actually go voting more often than younger voters. A number of ‘elderly power’ theorists therefore suggest that population aging pressurizes politicians into providing ever higher pensions and other pro-elderly policies – a claim that is often mistaken.

Continue reading