Special Issue "Towards a Sustainable Future: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intergenerational Solidarity"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 65

Special Issue Editor

Department of Public Policy, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, 02-554 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: ageing; intergenerational relationships; gerontology; silver economy; public policy; social policy; governance; social innovation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research on intergenerational relationships is currently at a critical moment in history. The world just celebrated the twentieth anniversary of developing an active ageing framework and the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) during the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing (UN 2002). Moreover, in the year 2022, the fourth review and appraisal of the MIPAA implementation were finalized, but scientific analyses of the achievements and future plans are still needed.

Additionally, with limited publicity, the tenth anniversary of organizing the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in the European Union (EY2012) took place. One of the core ideas behind that initiative was to integrate the activities of various stakeholders at all levels and to redesign public policies (EC 2012). The European Year was aimed not only at underlining the potential of older people and fostering their active participation in society and the economy. The EY2012 initiative also highlighted the need for future-oriented thinking, planning, and mobilizing relevant actors around building intergenerational solidarity.

Intergenerational solidarity as a thematic focus of interdisciplinary studies could be understood as an expression of unconditional trust between members of the same or different generations that is also the attitude that assumes that “one generation should do something” for other generations (Lüscher et al. 2017). The EY2012 was targeted at including such an approach to legislation, the use of structural and cohesion funds, research and innovation, and supporting national policymakers by coordinated strategies and mutual learning projects.

Nevertheless, the term “intergenerational solidarity” is not even getting close to being as popular as notions “active ageing” and “healthy ageing” (see Google Books Ngram Viewer 2023). This state of affairs is also visible in the recent developments in the field of ageing policies (public policies on ageing). For example, the European Commission focuses on disseminating a rights-based approach and fostering equal access to the services related to active ageing within the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) (EP, CEU, EC 2017; EC 2021b). EPSR is closely combined with implementing the United Nations framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UN 2015). Additionally, by publishing the Green Paper on Ageing (EC 2021a), the European Commission underlined the importance of rights and investments related to the stimulation of active ageing. On the other hand, the United Nations General Assembly in December 2020 proclaimed the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030) (WHO 2020). Summing up, we may face the risk that all of these latest documents are no longer considering intergenerational solidarity as one of the main goals for public interventions but as one of the core values and guiding principles in supporting health and well-being for all people.

This Special Issue aims to underline that intergenerational solidarity should not be narrowed down only to health care and social care sectors. Generations are not only age groups but also socio-cultural and economic formations. Moreover, intergenerational solidarity, in broad understanding, also refers to improving the distribution of resources between the generations in the context of various social security and welfare state institutions (González-Ricoy and Gosseries 2016; Falch-Eriksen, Takle, and Slagsvold 2021). It also calls attention to minimizing the risk of inequalities and conflicts related to the economic consequences of population ageing, sustainability issues (e.g., ecology and public finances), and generational changes in cultural values (Klimczuk 2017). Intergenerational solidarity is not only related to a number of demographic processes such as population ageing, migrations, and progressive depopulation but also to the topics of challenges of democratic order, climate change, new pandemics, new resource wars, unemployment induced by digitalization and automatization, and diversifying the skills and education of generations.

This Special Issue will focus both on theoretical and empirical findings, including the conceptual issues and evaluation of results and achievements of activities related to international, national, and regional initiatives and policies in the field of ageing and intergenerational solidarity. Potential topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenges of multigenerational families, groups, and intergenerational communication (e.g., age management, diversity management, multigenerational workforce, ageism).
  • A critical review of the ageing policy concepts (such as healthy ageing, active ageing, creative ageing, ageing in place, and intergenerational policy).
  • Governance and management of ageing and intergenerational policies.
  • Social, health, and technological innovation in the context of intergenerational relationships.
  • The development and dissemination of lifelong learning, volunteering, mentoring programs, and intergenerational programs.
  • Intergenerational solutions, projects, and programs related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Co-design, co-creation, and co-production schemes in the field of ageing and intergenerational policies.
  • The challenges of establishing age-friendly environments, cities, and communities, as well as intergenerational contact zones and intergenerational shared sites.
  • Intergenerational relationships in the alternative economic models such as the silver economy, longevity economy, social economy, circular economy, green economy, and sharing economy.
  • Intergenerational solidarity from the perspective of various disciplines, for example, gerontology, demography, economics, environmental studies, geography, management studies, pedagogy, political studies, psychology, public health, public policy, qualitative studies, quantitative studies, social work, and sociology.


EC (European Commission). 2012. The EU Contribution to Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

EC (European Commission). 2021a. Green Paper on Ageing: Fostering Solidarity and Responsibility Between Generations: COM(2021) 50 Final. Brussels.

EC (European Commission). 2021b. The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

EP, CEU, EC (European Parliament, Council of the European Union, European Commission). 2017. The European Pillar of Social Rights. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Falch-Eriksen, Asgeir, Marianne Takle, and Britt Slagsvold, eds. 2021. Generational Tensions and Solidarity Within Advanced Welfare States. London: Routledge.

González-Ricoy, Iñigo and Axel Gosseries, ed. 2016. Institutions for Future Generations. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Google. 2023. “Books Ngram Viewer.” Accessed September 17, 2023. https://books.google.com/ngrams.

Klimczuk, Andrzej. 2017. Economic Foundations for Creative Ageing Policy, Volume II: Putting Theory into Practice. New York, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-53523-8

Lüscher, Kurt, Andreas Hoff, Andrzej Klimczuk, Giovanni Lamura, Marta Renzi, Paulo de Salles Oliveira, Mariano Sánchez et al. 2017. Generations, Intergenerational Relationships, Generational Policy: A Multilingual Compendium - Edition 2017. Konstanz: Universität Konstanz. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/79129/

UN (United Nations). 2002. Report of the Second World Assembly on Ageing: Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing: Madrid, 8-12 April 2002. New York: United Nations.

UN (United Nations). 2015. Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/70/1). 2015. https://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?OpenAgent&DS=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E.

WHO (World Health Organization). 2020. Decade of Healthy Ageing: Plan of Action. https://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?OpenAgent&DS=A/RES/75/131&Lang=E.

Dr. Andrzej Klimczuk
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • age-friendly cities and communities
  • co-creation
  • COVID-19
  • intergenerational relationships
  • public policy
  • social innovation
  • social policy
  • sustainability
  • universal design
  • welfare state

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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