Julia Lynch is a political scientist who studies the comparative politics of health and social policies in advanced industrial democracies, particularly Western Europe and North America. For the last ten years, her research has centered on three themes: public beliefs about equity in the realm of health and health care, mainly in the United States; the relationship between health and home mortgage foreclosure, again mainly in the United States; and the politics of policymaking surrounding health inequalities by race, gender, socioeconomic status, and region in the United States and Europe. Prof. Lynch is a former fellow of the SSRC’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program.
This dissertation research explores the differences in how intergenerational conflict emerges as a political issue in Western Europe in the wake of the dual crises of pension system exhaustion and widespread youth unemployment. It seeks to explain differences in the institutional form and policy content of the politics of age in Italy, Spain and Netherlands by testing three kinds of causal variables: (1) the distribution of income resulting from changes to labor markets and welfare state programs; (2) the mobilizational strategies of political party leaders; and (3) the institutional and ideational structures of party competition in the three countries. While some of the research for this project (analysis of income and electoral survey data) can be undertaken at in the US, field work in Italy and Spain will be necessary to examine the behavior of party leaders and the parameters of party competition, as well as to conduct additional survey research on attitudes towards age-related political issues. The Netherlands will be treated as a shadow case.