The paper by Auping et al. (2015) focuses on the topic of societal 'ageing', that is, 'a population process, caused by declining fertility and mortality rates, which manifests itself in the growing number of older persons in society' (Huber, 2005). A broader definition frames societal ageing as a 'demographic, structural, cultural and economic transformation resultant from the increase in the number and proportion of " older " people within society' (Victor, 2005, p. 5). 'Double societal ageing' today characterizes most developed countries, which experience both an increase in the percentage of older people and in their life expectancy. In terms of public policy and finance, the relevance of this phenomenon is related to its effects on healthcare budgets, pension costs and fiscal sustainability. From the very beginning of the paper, the topic is clearly framed in the broad context of 'wicked problems', which characterize most of governmental planning, with a specific concern with social issues (Rittel and Webber, 1973, p. 160). These are complex policy problems featured by high risk and uncertainty and a high interdepen-dency among variables affecting them. 'Wicked problems', as in the context analysed in the paper, cannot be clustered within the boundaries of a single organization, or referred to specific administrative levels or ministerial areas. They are characterized by dynamic complexity, involving multi-level, multi-actor and multi-sectoral challenges. Other examples of such problems include social cohesion, climate change, unemployment, crime, homelessness, healthcare, poverty, education and immigration (Laegreid and Rykkja, 2014; Bianchi and Williams, 2015). Such problems are usually ingrained in major social issues of modern life, whose interpretation is not univocal, because it depends on the adopted value perspectives. Therefore, by simply gathering more information can be insufficient to understand and resolve them. This implies that there is not a definitive (i.e. true or false) solution to them; there can be rather a 'good' or 'bad' way to frame them and to profile one or more consistent (or inconsistent) alternative decision sets (Head and Alford, 2013).
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Systems Research and Behavioral Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Social Sciences
- Strategy and Management
- Information Systems and Management