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45378-01 - Seminar: Global Ageing in the 21st Century 6 CP

Semester fall semester 2021
Course frequency Irregular
Lecturers Charlotte Blattner (
Janine Dumont (, Assessor)
Content Thanks to new achievements of science and health care, modern societies have greatly improved average working conditions. The promise of a healthy and long life, together with an increasing prosperity of people was a consequence of this achievement and led to fewer births among privileged people. Correlation between age, reliable health care and declining population growth is not solely a Western phenomenon but a development that is now observed on a global scale. The relationship between different generations has been at the centre of public attention, not least because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, laws restricting public life were put in place in response to a call for solidarity with the elderly. On the other hand, older generations were greatly affected by restrictions and thereby made dependent on others. How are these interests translated into law and mediated by it? Do states have a duty to protect the elderly? When do differentiations amount to forms of discrimination? This seminar examines these and other pressing legal questions that arise when societies age or lack an opportunity to age. Students may choose among numerous topics covering the legal dimensions of e.g., intergenerational equity, age as a form of disability, age and nutrition, age and autonomy, discrimination of older workers or tenants, reverse discrimination of young people in politics, age and illnesses of old age, age and assisted suicide, or global ageing and the challenges of technology. Students are invited to approach this topic from a Swiss, European, or international law perspective and are encouraged to use comparative analyses where appropriate.
Learning objectives This seminar will promote and strengthen participants’ ability to critically assess the global dimensions of aging from a legal perspective. Students will learn about, apply, and perfect their legal writing skills, read legal literature and employ legal research methods. Students will work independently to develop their own topic but they are expected to actively participate in the seminar and will have an opportunity to practice their presentation skills as they present their work to the class.
Bibliography (Selection)
The following are sample sources for students to gain a basic understanding of the legal phenomena surrounding global ageing. You do not need to buy any literature before the introductory session.
Freeman, M., Hawkes, S., Bennett, B. (Hrsg.), Law and Global Health, OUP 2014
Hoppler-Wyss, J., Recht im Alter, Dike 2011
Johnson, M. L. (Hrsg.), The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing, CUP 2005
Journal of International Ageing, Law and Policy, Stetson University College of Law
McDaniel S.A., Zimmer Z. (eds.), Global Ageing in the Twenty First Century. Ashgate Publishing Ltd 2013
Müller, T., Alter und Recht, Das menschliche Alter und seine Bedeutung für das Recht unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des europäischen und nationalen Antidiskriminierungsrechts, Peter Lang 2011
Rechel B., Doyle Y., Grundy E., McKee M., How can Health Systems Respond to Population Ageing? World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe 2009
Rust, U., Lange, J., Pfannkuche, H. (eds.): Altersdiskriminierung und Beschäftigung, Evang. Akademie Loccu 2006
Schwestermann, M.-A., Tobler, C., Altersdiskriminierung bei medizinischer Ressourcenknappheit?, in: Jusletter 14. April 2020
Comments Students who are not immatriculated at the beginning of the semester are kindly requested to register with the study coordination office of the Institute for European Global Studies (
Weblink Europainstitut


Admission requirements This seminar is open to students with and without a legal background. All students are expected to conduct legal research, which includes the study of legal norms, case law and literature. Students are expected to actively use the workspace on ADAM.
Course application Online via MOnA.
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media Online, mandatory


Interval irregular
Date 29.09.2021 – 28.11.2021
Time See details
Date Time Room
Wednesday 29.09.2021 16.15-20.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Seminarraum S13 HG.35
Thursday 07.10.2021 18.30-20.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Seminarraum S15 HG.31
Thursday 28.10.2021 18.15-20.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Saturday 27.11.2021 09.00-17.00 Riehenstrasse 154, Hörsaal 00.015
Sunday 28.11.2021 09.00-17.00 Riehenstrasse 154, Hörsaal 00.015
Modules Electives Master Law (bilingue): Recommendations (Master's Studies: Law (bilingue))
Electives Master Law: Recommendations (Master's Studies: Law)
Modul: Areas: Europa Global (Master's degree program European History in Global Perspective)
Modul: Europäisierung und Globalisierung (Master's Studies: European Global Studies)
Modul: Politik, Entwicklung und soziale Ungleichheit (Bachelor's degree subject Sociology)
Modul: Transfer: Europa interdisziplinär (Master's degree program European History in Global Perspective)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Global Ageing and Health (Master's Studies: European Global Studies)
Wahlbereich Master Rechtswissenschaft (EUCOR): Empfehlungen (Master's Studies: Law (Eucor))
Assessment format continuous assessment
Assessment details Written paper (including submission of outline, draft and final paper), small reading exercises, presentation and participation in class.
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg.: course registration; dereg.: not required
Repeat examination no repeat examination
Scale 1-6 0,5
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty University of Basel
Offered by Europainstitut