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Finding a suitable way to write an introduction to a Special Issue would seem to be a relatively easy task – at first glance. But when the Special Issue is dealing with a notion that is in the very midst of receiving momentum, the question arises of how one should begin, because although some potential readers may be acquainted with the topic at hand, others may have yet to understand that the topic is now in the process of conquering intellectual space. This Special Issue happens to be about such a topic. The topic of social exclusion in old age does not yet seem to be on the radar of North American scholars, for example, but has certainly become a topic to reckon with in Europe. Understanding how “the no tion of social exclusion has found its way into the lexicon of all major global governance institutions” (O’Brien & Penna 2008: 1) is what this introduction is all about. This Special Issue was, after all, first conceived as part of the series of special issues that the COST-action known as ROSENet (an acronym that stands for Reducing Old Age Social Exclusion: Collaborations in Research and Policy; www.rosenet.com) would put together to raise awareness about old-age social exclusion – a phenomenon that deserves attention as populations around the world grow older and live longer….
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