Agencements of Reanimation: Facilitating an Active Old Age through Danish Co-Creation Initiatives


  • Aske Juul Lassen University of Copenhagen



energy, co-creation, cycling without age, COPD, active aging


Contemporary healthy and active aging policies coincide with new forms of governance in European welfare states promoting active citizenship, which in Denmark has been termed “co-creation.” As active aging and co-creation policies go hand in hand, new forms of health promotion programs and public-private collaborations emerge. This article centers on two initiatives that target older people in two Danish municipalities: a local COPD-choir in Vordingborg and the local department in Ishøj of the (inter)national Cycling without Age association. The municipalities take on the assignment of reanimating old age through such initiatives, by challenging the institutional barriers of the municipality. The article describes how co-creation is a redistribution of agency in the European welfare states and how older volunteers are called upon to participate in the organization of municipal initiatives, while at the same time these initiatives come with pre-fixed definitions of “good” old age. The article explores the co-creation initiatives as indicative of the agencements (Çalışkan and Callon 2010) of reanimation that endeavor to revive old age and subjectivise older people as active citizens. While such agencement involves health promotion, this article argues that the aim of initiatives is instead to engage older citizens, and hence to facilitate an active old age.


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