The evolution of social welfare policies for the aged differs markedly from the way environmental and urban issues erupted in the late 1960s. While the latter issues arose out of activity outside the political establishment, social welfare policies developed within it. Not only were these policies the outcome of participation by parties, government bureaucracies and unions, but they were also rather quickly formalized into law, fixed budget allocations, and set programmes. Given the importance of this formal and institutional side of social welfare policies for the aged, it is essential to begin the examination of community care through its relation to policy-making and welfare administration.