The Meaning Ascribed to the Aging Phenomena by Mayors in Israel

Dafna Vardimon, Israel (Issi) Doron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Israel, as in many other countries, local government is the arena in which national policies are carried out and through which direct social services are provided to the older population. However, issues around local ageing policies have yet to be studied in terms of understanding the role of the heads of these local communities. This study describes and analyses how mayors and heads of local municipalities perceive the consequences of ageing and its effect on their communities, and how it influences the specific social policies they have adopted as part of their responsibility for addressing this phenomenon. A qualitative, phenomenological methodology was used. Sixteen mayors and heads of municipalities from across Israel were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. All interviews were transcribed and then thematically analysed. Three main themes were identified: the complicated tension with the central government; personal attitudes and beliefs towards ageing; and the policies and initiatives actually adopted by the mayors in the field of ageing. Overall, this study emphasises the significance of the subjective construction of local versus central government power relationships by mayors and heads of localities. It supports the “strong mayor” approach within the local political-gerontology literature, hence pointing to the potential importance of political activism by older persons at this governmental level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-436
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Population Ageing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Glocalism
  • Local government
  • Mayors
  • Municipalism
  • Politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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