CIVEX: Exclusion from civic engagement of a diverse older population: Features, experiences, and policy implications

Primary Investigator for CIVEX: Dr. Rodrigo Serrat (University of Barcelona)

Project leader for the Swedish team: Prof. Sandra Torres (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University).

Collaborator (in Sweden): Dr. Pernilla Ågård (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University).

Country leaders for the project: Prof. Thomas Scharf (Newcastle University); Dr. Fredrica Nyqvist (Åbo Akademi University), and Prof. Sarah Dury (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Funder (in Sweden): Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (known as FORTE in Swedish).

Duration: October 2021 – October 2024// Data collection via 300 interviews takes place during 2022.

Project description: In Europe’s ageing societies, being able to age healthily and actively remains a major challenge not only for older people themselves but also for wider society. Moreover, older adults continue to be at risk of social exclusion in key life domains, including material and financial resources, social relations, access to services, community and neighborhood integration, and civic and cultural participation. While social exclusion in later major topic for research and policy in Europe, significant gaps in knowledge and understanding persist, thereby reducing the potential for evidence-based policy development. CIVEX aims to meet these gaps by investigating features of exclusion from multidimensional civic engagement in later life, and older adults’ experiences of such exclusion, as well as by identifying evidence-based policy responses to address it.

CIVIEX draws attention to four groups of older people who are deemed to be potentially marginalized in terms of civic participation, and have therefore received limited scholarly attention. These are:

  • older people with home-help care
  • older people who live in care settings
  • older people with migrant and ethno-racially diverse backgrounds
  • older people who live in socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and

If you belong to one of the groups mentioned above, are 60 years old or older, and would like to contribute to this project with your experiences of civic participation, contact Pernilla Ågård via e-mail: or call her: 018-471 5171.  The interviews in Sweden – which take approximately 90 minutes to complete – can be conducted in either Swedish or English.

The CIVEX consortium includes five European countries selected to represent contrasting welfare state regimes and cultural contexts: Anglo-Saxon (UK), Continental (Belgium), Nordic (Sweden and Finland) and Southern (Spain). A total of 300 older (60+) adults who belong to the above mentioned groups, and live in these five countries, will be interviewed during 2022. CIVEX aims to bring to fore the societal contributions that members of the older segments of our populations make via engagement in, among others, political, trade unions, associational organizations of various kinds as well as through volunteering activities.

For more information on the CIVEX project as well as the publications and materials that it will generate over the upcoming years see:

Last modified: 2023-10-09