Thematic Panel 16: Looking back in time: The historical development of long-term care policies

Johanna Fischer, University of Bremen
Heinz Rothgang, University of Bremen
Lorraine Frisina Doetter, University of Bremen

The extent of state involvement in the field of long-term care (LTC) has changed considerably over time. The historical inception of public programmes concerned with LTC often was rudimentary, fragmented and focused at the most vulnerable population groups. In the last decades, LTC for the old-age population has increasingly become a salient issue in many parts of the world, calling to be politically addressed. For instance, many countries in Europe have established (limited) social protection for LTC rather early and experienced different kinds of reforms since the 1990s. More recently, countries in the Global South like China or Uruguay are increasingly discussing and introducing public policies for LTC as well.

This thematic panel focuses on the historical development of public LTC schemes across countries and regions. By looking back in time we can also gain a better understanding of current institutions and issues. We aim to address the following questions. In which contexts did first – often rudimentary – LTC policies develop, which form did they take and at whom were they aimed? Which pathways did they take in the following years and decades? Which factors have been crucial in this development? Do we see similarities between early adopters of social protection for LTC in the Global North and recent undertakings in the Global South?

We invite papers addressing one or several of the above questions which focus on long-term care for the elderly and/or adults with disability. Papers should take a macro-perspective on the ‘beginning’ and change (or lack thereof) of public LTC policies in time. We welcome papers dealing with any region of the world and especially encourage submissions that explore more embryonic developments unfolding in recent years in countries of the Global South. Contributions may focus on individual countries or cover a wider set of cases comparatively.

Posted in Conference 2021, Thematic Panels.