Third Demography Prize for Young Researchers 2010/11

The third demography prize was dedicated to the following topic:

“Old majority – young minority: Where is a power shift between generations already visible and how can you balance it?”
For further information about the demography prize click here.


Demographic change has long since become a reality – we are becoming fewer and older. According to the 2009 population projection presented by the German Federal Statistics Office, the German population will drop to 65 million people (today: 82 million) by 2060. One hundred people of working age will then have to provide for 60 pensioners. People over 65 will make up more than one third of the German population and only about 16% will be under 20. Today, the shares of people aged over 65 and under 20 are still about the same size.

In April 2008, the former German Federal President, Roman Herzog, already warned Germany of turning into a “pensioner democracy” in order to call attention to the set of problems connected to the nominally rising number of older voters. But are Western democracies actually likely to become “gerontocracies” preventing the young from having a say? Has demographic change already affected election results and campaigns?
Political parties may ask, as well, if and how the ageing process in society has by now affected their programmes and the staffing of party committees. Is there a need and is it even possible to counteract this trend?

The competition aims at specific and innovative approaches providing a basis for future political debate.

The deadline for papers has now passed. Submissions were accepted until October 1st, 2011.


The following papers were awarded prizes during a Symposium in Berlin on 16.01.2011:

1st Prize (€6,000):
Bettina Munimus: „From a quantitative majority to qualitative power? An examination of interest groups which represent the older generation“ (in German) PDF

2nd Prize (€4,000)
Cornelia Wiethaler: „The idea of justice according to Amartya Sen applied to the German social security system – three sketches of a model for local responsibility“ (in German) PDF


Symposium in Berlin for the Third Demography Prize

Theme: „A Power Shift between Generations“

scheckuebergabe_2012On the 16th January 2012, the Symposium for the award of the 3rd Demography Prize, endowed with a financial reward of €10,000, took place in Berlin. The theme of the Prize and the Symposium itself was devoted to a possible “Power shift between generations” in reference to the ageing majority in society and the consequences thereof.
The political, societal and economic strategies which can be adopted to cope with the fact of ageing societies were discussed in small groups as well as by experts during a podium discussion. Over 70 participants from positions in economy and politics as well as a surprisingly large number of the general public attended.

podium_2012The theses and proposals of the prize winners were the basis for controversial and interesting discussions in small groups discussing specific aspects of the theme and during the podium discussion. Additionally, existing reform proposals from the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, such as “Franchise without Age Limits”, were discussed and debated in the light of the most up-to-date research as well as the various perspectives of the participants. The Symposium was made possible through the support of the Robert-Bosch- Stiftung.