This chapter introduces the main arguments and questions that are addressed throughout the book. The key argument is that, although we are witnessing the decline of the nation-state as the dominant spatial unit through which to understand these political, economic and social processes, the system of nation-states has yet to be fully replaced by a new spatial order. It is argued that this represents a key challenge to many gerontological theories that either take the nation-state as their frame of reference or assume that globalization has replaced all other spaces. Hence gerontology often appears to be trapped within one or other of these spatial contexts and only addresses questions that seem specific to whatever level seems dominant. This chapter outlines the key message in the book that cautions against these tendencies before moving on to describe each of the chapters in the book.
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