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Basel Papers: Global Perspectives on Aging

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Cover Picture: Marc Eggimann Fotografie www.marceggimann.ch, with the support of Port of Switzerland

The new winter 2017 edition of the e-journal “Global Europe - Basel Papers on Europe in a Global Perspective” features two articles on aging. Dr. Charlotte Bruckermann (Halle) writes about the role of senior citizens in the Chinese countryside. Marijke de Pauw's (Brussels) article makes the case for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

“Longevity, Labor, and Care between Kin and State in China” is the title of Charlotte Bruckermann's article. Her work takes up the issue of the invisibility of elderly rather than feminized care work. In rural China senior kin often perform essential work in families as care providers who tend to partners, support children, and nurture grandchildren. Yet this work ‘inside’ the village is overshadowed by remunerated, formal work performed ‘outside’ in the urbanizing economy by younger generations. Bruckermann examines how senior citizens claim recognition for the care work they perform in the Chinese countryside.

A human rights approach to aging lies at the centre of Marijke de Pauw's article “Global Population Aging from a Human Rights Perspective: The Need for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons”. It posits that the well-being and inclusion of older persons in society depends on the promotion and protection of their fundamental rights. De Pauw's article aims to explain why a rights-based approach to aging remains crucial and why it is important to clarify how fundamental rights apply to older persons in an international human rights treaty.

Dr. Charlotte Bruckermann works as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. Since completing her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2013, she has worked at the Anthropology Department of the London School of Economics, at the research centre Re:Work for Work and the Lifecycle in Global History at the Humboldt University and the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel. Her areas of expertise include the anthropology of China, labor, gender, ritual, economic transformation, environmental policy, and finance. Her doctoral fieldwork in rural Shanxi Province explored how villagers make themselves at home despite economic inequality, political rupture, and ecological degradation. She currently investigates the role of finance in driving environmental projects.

Marijke de Pauw is an associate postdoctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She holds a doctoral degree in law from the VUB and Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles. Her main areas of expertise include the rights of older persons, age discrimination and the rights of persons with disabilities. Dr. de Pauw also continues to be a member of the editorial board of the Flemish human rights journal Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten and an active member of the EU Cost Action on Ageism.

Global Europe – Basel Papers on Europe in a Global Perspective” is an academic e-journal showcasing the excellent research of graduates as well as other young and senior scholars interested in analyzing Europe and the EU in a global context. The journal published in two issues per year. The publications are available as PDF-files via the open access platform of the University Library Basel as well as in the e-journal's archive on this site. In addition, readers can subscribe to it by sending an e-mail to europa@unibas.ch.