Migration, older people and social policy

Anthony M Warnes

in Social Policy Review 19

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349415
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303466 | DOI:
Migration, older people and social policy

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This chapter focuses on the challenges that older migrants present to established principles and systems of social welfare. It features the elaboration of policies for the welfare of foreign migrants since the mid-twentieth century in Europe, and more specifically the UK. The chapter has five sections. It begins with further discussion of the challenges that large numbers of immigrants and emigrants raise for the established systems of state-supported and managed welfare in Western European countries. The second section describes the major types of ‘older foreign migrants’, showing that they are more diverse than is popularly understood, and specifies the kinds of challenges they raise for established social policy. The third section is a selective guide to recent research about older migrants, and summarises the latest evidence about the number of UK state pensioners who are resident in foreign countries. The fourth section turns to the processes by which healthcare and welfare policies are ‘harmonised’ among the member nations of the European Union, and evaluates the potential of current policies for achieving the required radical reform. The final section argues that the pressures for reform in certain underlying principles of ‘social insurance’ and the bases of entitlement will continue to grow, and require new kinds of ‘welfare contract’ for migrants of different ages.

Keywords: older migrants; social welfare; emigrants; immigrants; Western Europe; welfare system; UK state pensioners

Chapter.  8235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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