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Lesson‐drawing under authoritarianism

Dr. Armin Müller and Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink from project B05 "Inclusion and Benefit Dynamics in the Chinese Welfare Regime" contributed an article in "Asian Politics & Policy".

In the article "Lesson-drawing under authoritarianism: Generosity and cost control in China's hospital payment reforms" (Asian Politics & Policy 2023), Armin Müller and Tobias ten Brink (TP B05) examine recent hospital payment reforms in Chinese cities against their historical background. Using process tracing, the authors reconstruct two waves of reforms from a lesson-drawing perspective, triangulating different data sources (expert interviews, administrative documents, academic studies, and newspaper articles).

Local governments were the driving force behind a first wave of reform in the 1990s. It was dominated by simplified versions of international models that did not include strong prospective payment components and thus protected the interests of local governments and hospitals. In a second wave beginning in the 2000s, the impetus came from central government, leading to greater adoption of syntheses of international models and adaptations with more prospective payment components – and a stronger focus on patient interests. It is noted that significant pressure from the central government was necessary to minimize the bureaucratic self-interest of local governments in more low-cost reform.


Contact:
Dr. Armin Müller
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research IV and China Global Center
Campus Ring 1
28759 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 200-3473
E-Mail: armmueller@constructor.university

Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research IV and China Global Center
Campus Ring 1
28759 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 200-3382
E-Mail: ttenbrink@constructor.university

Citizenship, Migration and Social Rights. Historical Experiences from the 1870s to the 1970s

Dr. Simon Gerards Iglesias, former Research Fellow at CRC 1342, contributed a chapter to Beate Althammer's anthology "Citizenship, Migration and Social Rights. Historical Experiences from the 1870s to the 1970s." This volume was published as part of the book series "Routledge Studies in Modern History".

Argentina's social policy for immigrants in the interwar period

For some time now, the tensions between migration and the welfare state have sparked heated public and academic debates. Little is known about the historical connections between immigration and emigration and the effects and meanings of the emergence of modern welfare states. In a new anthology published by Routledge, this question will be explored from a transnational perspective with studies on different countries.

Simon Gerards Iglesias' chapter discusses Argentine immigration and welfare policies in the interwar period, focusing on those designed for Europeans. Recalling that Europe was a continent of mass emigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries, he shows how a key destination country - Argentina - contributed to the globalisation of welfare discourses that were originally an exclusively European affair. Gerards Iglesias argues that Argentina's efforts in the international socio-political arena were primarily rooted in the ambition to make the country attractive to European immigrants again after the First World War. He illustrates this concretely with the example of workers' compensation - the branch of social security whose internationalisation generally progressed most rapidly. However, Gerards Iglesias also points out the inconsistencies in Argentina's migration policy. For example, although the government concluded several bilateral agreements with European states on occupational injury benefits, it did not ratify the corresponding ILO convention until 1950. And while on the one hand it displayed pro-immigration rhetoric on the international stage, on the other it successively raised the barriers for potential immigrants at the national level. Argentina's political elites, the chapter shows, were torn between the pros and cons of immigration, which in any case always meant European immigrants, while migrants of other than "white" European descent were always unwelcome.

Publications:

Hüther, Michael / Gerards Iglesias, Simon (2022): Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung durch Rückschritt – zu den Perspektiven der russischen Volkswirtschaft, in: Russland-Analysen, Nr. 426, S. 2-6.

Gerards Iglesias, Simon (2022): Inmigración y empresariado transnacional en Argentina a finales del siglo XIX. Los Weil y los Staudt, entre Alemania y Argentina". Cuadernos del Archivo VI/1, Nr. 10 (2022): 26-45.

Gerards Iglesias, Simon (2022): Argentinische Sozialpolitik und die Internationale Arbeitsorganisation (ILO), 1919-1943. Debatten, Konflikte und Kooperationen. Dissertation, Universität Bremen.

Simon Gerards Iglesias studied political economy and economic history in Heidelberg, Göttingen and Buenos Aires. From 2019 to 2022, he worked as a researcher at the CRC 1342 and completed his doctoral thesis on the historical development of social policies in Argentina under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels. He currently works at the German Economic Institute in Cologne.

Dr. Keonhi Son, Postdoctoral Researcher, CRC 1342
Dr. Keonhi Son, Postdoctoral Researcher, CRC 1342
Research visit in Cologne from 15th of October until 15th of December

A postdoctoral researcher from the A06 project "Pathways to Family Policy Universalism: Coverage and Generosity of Family Policies in a Global Perspective" will participate in the Visiting Researchers Program of the Max Planck Society for two months.

During her research visit from 15th of October until 15th of December at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, she aims to examine the complex interplay between growth regimes, gender inequality, and welfare policies during the Fordism era, when advanced capitalist economies began to diverge in their paths towards "gender equal" or "conservative" welfare states. 

Keonhi Son’s argument is twofold: first, growth regimes have shaped gender inequality in the labor market since the Fordism era. Growth strategies centered around specific sectors disadvantaged women through wage moderation and gendered hierarchy in the labor market. Second, the demand for women's labor influenced policymakers' preferences on welfare policies for women workers. If female labor played a minimal role in a state's growth strategy, policymakers were likely to perceive women as dependents of male workers in the industrial sector rather than as workers themselves, and thus reluctant to extend welfare policies for working women. To test her arguments, she will conduct a comparative case study that examines the patterns of gender inequality in labor markets, as well as the political discourse surrounding the early development of paid maternity leave in Germany and Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s. 

Her research interest encompasses leave policy development in the Global South, the origin of work-family policies, and the role of female agency on social policy development. She is constructing three historical databases that measure inclusiveness and generosity of maternity, paternity and parental leave in the Global South, covering 165 countries from 1883 until 2018.

Publications:

Son, Keonhi. (2023). The Origin of Social Policy for Women Workers: The Emergence of Paid Maternity Leave in Western Countries, Comparative Political Studies (online first). https://doi.org/10.1177/00104140231169024.

Son, Keonhi. (2022). Colonialism and Paid Maternity Leave Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa, In Dobrotić, Ivana, Blum, Sonja, & Koslowski, Alison. (Eds.), Research Handbook on Leave Policy, 310-323. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800372214.00033.

Son, Keonhi. (2022). Ship of Theseus: from ILO Standards to Outcome of Maternity Protection Policy. Journal of Social Policyhttps://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279422000010.

Son, Keonhi. (2022). Do International Treaties Only Have an Impact on Ratifying States?: the Influence of the ILO Maternity Protection Conventions in 160 States, 1883 until 2018. International Labour Reviewhttps://doi.org/10.1111/ilr.12371.


Contact:
Dr. Keonhi Son
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-99858
E-Mail: son@uni-bremen.de

EPSA XIII 2023, Glasgow

Dr. Nils Düpont and Hannes Salzmann presented their paper “The Unforced Force of the Better Argument? Computationally Assessing Arguments in Parliamentary Debates” at the 13th annual conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA) in June 2023. In cooperation with Gabriella Skitalinska and Prof. Henning Wachsmuth from the Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Leibniz University Hannover, the CRC members from the INF project are about to finish their work.

The article focuses on the analysis of parliamentary speeches in terms of the quantity and quality of arguments. Using a combination of manual annotations, machine learning, and pre-trained models, the authors hope to gain insight into how argument quality evolves over time and how it relates to other party factors such as government or opposition affiliation, ideological/policy positions, or status of the speaker.

The EPSA ranks among the largest political science conferences in Europe with about 1,900 participants in 2023. Within the panel “Qualities of Parliamentary Speech” the colleagues discussed the paper, which had been commented on by Prof. Kenneth Benoit from London School of Economics. Furthermore, Nils Düpont was chairman and moderator of the panel “Intra-Party Politics and Position-taking”.

Beforehand, Hannes Salzmann could introduce their work at this year’s COMPTEXT conference to a specialist peer group of 80 colleagues, also in Glasgow, in Mai 2023. The feedback received was helpful to further improve the article.

The engagement and exchange with colleagues on the latest methods and approaches in quantitative text analysis benefits not only the researchers but also the INF project. After the completion and publication of the paper, data on the average argument quality of government and opposition, for example, could also be added to WeSIS to provide further insight into the formation of social policy.


Contact:
Dr. Nils Düpont
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57060
E-Mail: duepont@uni-bremen.de

Hannes Salzmann
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57061
E-Mail: h.salzmann@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Dasten Julián Vejar, Universidad Austral de Chile
Dr. Dasten Julián Vejar, Universidad Austral de Chile
Perspectives from Latin America

Dr. Dasten Julián Vejar from the Universidad Austral de Chile visited the CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy last week. He gave a lecture about “Intersectionality, Precarity and Labour in the Global South: Perspectives from Latin America” and held a workshop on international networking as well as planning future research and teaching cooperation in universities of the Global South.

At the beginning of his stay in Bremen, Dasten Julián Vejar explained the intersectional approach, which has become relevant to research in different fields of the social sciences (anthropology, economics, sociology, etc.). Its importance in work studies has been highlighted mainly from studies linked to the precariousness of work and employment. These investigations have allowed a sociohistorical and political understanding of work, as well as of the societies of the Global South. In his presentation he analyzed some of these research experiences, based on the results of an investigation carried out in Chile (2016 - 2022) and another aimed at a UN Report on "poor work" in Latin America.

Furthermore, the workshop “Building networks and planning future research and teaching cooperation in universities of the Global South in South-North/North-South/South-South directions” enabled CRC and other interested researchers from the University of Bremen at an early stage of their career to plan collaborations in the fields of research and teaching for the purpose of perpetuating their research focus. Dasten Julián Vejar contributed his own experience of knowledge transfer from Germany as well as the extensive South-North/North-South/South-South collaborations that have built on it. The participants reviewed a set of challenges that the global scenario presents in its institutional and academic dimension for the development of cooperation, research and scientific exchange strategies.

Dasten Julián Vejar is a Ph.D. Sociologist at the Universidad Austral de Chile. His research interests focus on questions of precarity and precariousness of working and living conditions, intersectionality and emancipatory approaches from a perspective of the Global South. Among others, he is specialized in indigenous questions, the conditions in the agricultural and forestry sectors in Chile and the impact of transnational investments.

Publications:

Challenging the three faces of extractivism: the Mapuche struggleand the forestry industry in Chile (2023, with S. Schmalz et al, Globalizations 20(3): 365-383).

Sociedad precaria. Rumores, latidos, manifestaciones y lugares (2022, as co-editor); Sociedades precarias: estudios contemporáneos de la precariedad del trabajo (ibid.: 13-37).

Unions Opposing Labor Precarity in Chile. Union Leaders’ Perceptions and Representations of Collective Action, (2018, Latin American Perspectives 45(1): 63-76).

Precariedad laboral en América Latina: contribuciones a un modela para armar (Revista Colombiana de Sociología 2017 Vol 40 (2): 27-46).

Labor precarity and unionism in Chile: new directions and strategies of workers in a context of labor precarity (1975-2010) (Jena, 2015).


Contact:
Dr. Heiner Fechner
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-421-218-57070
E-Mail: hfechner@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, University of Kent
Prof. Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, University of Kent
Prof. Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, University of Kent

As part of the CRC 1342’s Jour Fixe, Prof. Natalia Sobrevilla Perea from the University of Kent presented her research on the social care network in the nineteenth century Peruvian army on 12th of July. In her presentation she gave insights into her forthcoming book "Armed citizens and citizens in arms, the military and the creation of Peru (1800-1870)" (Cambridge University Press).

She explained her findings, based on her historical research in different archives, on how the Peruvian army was the first state institution to provide specific social care networks regarding health care, retirement, survivors pensions as well as veteran’s pay. After the lecture, Natalia Sobrevilla Perea discussed with colleagues and students the origins, structures and processes that lead up to this unique development.

Natalia Sobrevilla Perea is Professor of Latin American History at the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Kent. Her research interests include state formation and political culture in the Andes from the end of the colonial period throughout the nineteenth century, as well as issues of identity, race and ethnicity, and military culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in South America.

Publications:

Sobrevilla Perea, N. (2023) ‘The Abolition of Slavery in the South American Republics’, Slavery and Abolition. Taylor & Francis, pp. 90-108. doi: 10.1080/0144039X.2022.2122814.

Eastman, S. and Sobrevilla Perea, N. (2022) Independence and Nation-Building in Latin America. Race and Identity in the Crucible of War. New York, United States: Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Independence-and-Nation-Building-in-Latin-America-Race-and-Identity-in/Eastman-Perea/p/book/9780367820718.

Sobrevilla Perea, N. (2023) ‘Emerging States’, in Posada-Carbo, E., Innes, J., and Philp, M. (eds) Re-imagining Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1780-1870. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Available at: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/re-imagining-democracy-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean-1780-1870-9780197631577?cc=fi&lang=en&#.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft / FB 08
Universitäts-Boulevard 13
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67200
E-Mail: dgr@uni-bremen.de

Cases from India, Nepal and Sierra Leone

Dr. Elena Samonova from the Institute of Geography at the University of Bremen, presented her research on human rights-based approaches to education and social policy on 28.06.2023.

Based on her research in India, Nepal and Sierra Leone, Dr. Samonova demonstrated the potentials and limitations of the introduction of human rights discourse in the field of social policy. By stipulating an internationally agreed set of norms, human-rights based approaches provide a stronger basis for citizens to make claims on their states and for holding states to account for their duties to enhance the access of their citizens to the realisation of their social, economic and political rights.

In her presentation Dr. Samonova argued that human rights are a multivocal discourse that should be understood as a polyphonic formation consisting of various meanings and interpretations. Using a case study on agricultural bonded labour in India and Nepal, she showed the liberatory potential of the human rights discourse which helps bonded labourers to regain their agency and restore beliefs in their own human dignity. In the context of structural oppression and systematic deprivation, such processes can positively affect self-image, reduce fear to oppose the oppression and motivate bonded labourers to raise their voices against injustice and search for appropriate methods of resistance. While it remains unclear whether these changes in perceptions will lead to the full abolition of the practice, this case has clearly shown that human rights discourse could serve as a tool for resistance against injustices at the grassroots level.

However, as another case from Sierra Leone shows, local interpretations of human rights not always have a liberatory potential: using the right to education as an example, Dr. Samonova argues that in the context of Sierra Leone the discourse of human rights is used to justify economistic neo-liberal approaches to education and social protection. Moreover, her study has also highlighted cultural and social tensions associated with human rights at the grassroots level. These tensions are related to traditional social hierarchies and an individualistic interpretation of rights that is widespread among people in rural areas and is often supported by the rhetoric of the government and big donor organizations such as World Bank.

Whilst Dr. Samonova points to the challenges associated with the introduction of the human rights discourse to social policy, she stresses significant potentials of human rights as powerful tools against poverty and discrimination.

 

Publications

Samonova, Elena. (2022). Human Rights Through the Eyes of Bonded Labourers in India. Journal of Modern Slavery: A Multidisciplinary Exploration of Human Trafficking Solutions, 7(2): 82-96.

Samonova, Elena et al. (2021). “An Empty Bag Cannot Stay Upright: The costs of “free” primary education in Sierra Leone”. International Journal of Educational Development 87: 102500.

Samonova, Elena et al. (2022). Picturing Dangers: Children’s Concepts of Safety and Risks in Rural Sierra Leone. Children and Society 37: 906–924.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Ivo Mossig
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-421-218 67410
E-Mail: mossig@uni-bremen.de

Conference Report

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Winston Churchill advised in classic fashion: ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’, and thus pointed to the potential any crisis entails. This was not lost on the attendees and presenters of the international conference "Economic Crises and Social Policy in the Twentieth Century" on December 1st and 2nd, 2022 which was organised by professors. Delia González de Reufels and Cornelius Torp as part of the CRC project B11.

At the centre of the conference were the two most important worldwide recession phases of the twentieth century: the Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s and the crisis-ridden period spanning the oil price shock of the early 1970s to the Asian financial crisis and the economic turmoil in Latin America at the end of the millennium. These shocks generated important impulses in social policy and the conference sought to shed light on these developments. This raised several important questions a to whether economic shocks were ever truly global in nature. And to what extent does the memory of previous crises shape responses to new economic downturns? Finally, what is their relationship to social policy? These overarching questions shaped the presentations and discussions that followed.

The first session focused on the interplay of crises, inequality, and social reform. Phillip Rehm started by explaining the nexus of how crises effect societal risk perception and welfare-state creation. His model linked ‘risk flips’ during a crisis to the increased preference for social programmes. Paul Dutton then demonstrated the ways historians can shed new light on unequal population health outcomes by seeing beyond the myopic fixation with medical care as the sole determinant of health.

Martin Daunton, Jason Scott Smith, and Daniel Béland presented in the second session which engaged with the Great Depression of the 1930s and its aftermath in Britain, the United States and Canada respectively. Topics as varied as tax-system rationalisation, spending on public-works programmes and the different impacts of centralisation vis-á-vis federalism on the implementation of social policies were covered to show the responses of anglophone countries to deep economic crises and the instruments they implemented.

In the third session, Klaus Petersen and Ángela Vergara underlined in their presentations the trajectories of Denmark and Latin America from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to the oil shocks of the 1970s and, in Latin America, the resulting debt crisis in the 1980s. By exploring both internal and external influences, they illuminated the discourses that allowed different forms of social policy to take root.

The presenters of fourth session on social policy reform explained employment policy reform from a comparative perspective in Asia, focussing on South Korea and Japan, and looked at labour and welfare in response to crisis in Australia. Juyoung An called for researchers to pay close attention to union strategy in order to understand divergent social policy outcomes while Gaby Ramia demonstrated the peculiarity of Australia’s ‘wage-earners’ welfare state’.

Drawing the first day to a close, Carmelo Mesa-Lago presented in his key note lecture his findings on pension privatisation in eleven Latin American countries between 1980 and 2020. He showed that, except for those countries who considered increased capitalisation of pension funds, none of the benefits that privatisation had promised, from adequacy and coverage, to concentration, materialised. This implies a serve crisis of pensions in these countries.

On the second day of the conference, Paolo Mattera, Raquel Varela and Paul Stubbs illustrated the impacts economic crises had on the development of the welfare state during the 1970s in Southern Europe and South-Eastern Europe. Mattera showed that Italian political actors opted to align domestic fiscal policy to decisions taken by other European countries, while Stubbs highlighted that the Yugoslavian government favoured the narrative of non-alignment. Finally, Varela demonstrated that important national shifts such as the Carnation Revolution in Portugal were decisive for the field of social policy.

In the following session, Cecilia Rossel and Andrés Solimano presented their work on two countries in the Southern Cone: Uruguay and Chile. Rossel showed how the banking crisis in Uruguay in the early 2000s led to a substantial change in social policy to address the shift of social assistance preferences. Here data indicated that this financial crisis led to a reconsideration of the principles of the 1989 ‘Washington Consensus’. Andrés Solimano’s work similarly drew attention to the complex relationship between increasing socio-economic inequality in Latin America during the period of stabilisation on the one hand, privatisation and liberalisation and the response by means of social policies on the other.

Social policy development in the face of crisis in Asia, the title of the seventh panel, was illustrated by the example of China where according to Aiqun Hu, social security reforms were made in a response to the employment crisis in China during the 1970s. This research tells the story of how the impact of an economic crisis was addressed in the field of social policy in the context of a system of state planned economy.

After an inspiring conference a lively debate completed the second day of the CRC conference. This discussion highlighted the need to evaluate ‘crises’ on both a theoretical and empirical level. The detailed historic reconstruction and analysis of the repercussions of economic crises on social policy needs to include a trans- and cross-national as well as a historical perspective. is an important endeavour that the participants emphasised as being far from completed. Future work could therefore enrich the field by focusing on more regions as for example African countries. Different aspects like gender and the categories of work distinguishing for example between formal and informal labour are aspects that could be worth looking at in more detail in further debates. The conference nevertheless demonstrated that the link between economic crises and social policy is a rich and fundamentally important topic of research a with the potential to enlighten the overarching CRC interest in exploring the global dynamics of social policy.

 

 


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft / FB 08
Universitäts-Boulevard 13
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67200
E-Mail: dgr@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Cornelius Torp
Dr. Viola Asri (University of Konstanz), Anna Hochleitner (University of Nottingham)
Dr. Viola Asri (University of Konstanz), Anna Hochleitner (University of Nottingham)
The project team A02 invited two colleagues – Viola Asri and Anna Hochleitner. They presented their most recent research projects, which used experimental approaches to address pressing questions on social policy, inequality and development.

The part of the team of the A02 project around Sebastian Fehrler is currently preparing a quasi-experimental impact evaluation study of the social pension in Bangladesh. To exchange with other experts on experimental approaches in social policy and inequality in the Global South, we invited Anna Hochleitner – soon to start her new Post-Doc position at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) – to discuss her latest experimental research on the impact of shocks and relative income on redistributive preferences.


After that, Viola Asri – recently appointed as a Senior Researcher at the Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen – presented her latest experimental work (with Ankush Asri and Anke Hoeffler) on the causal effects of a career exploration programme for young women in Indian schools in a large northern city in India.


Both presentations elicited a lot of debate among the participants and provided a lot of food for thought for the A02 project of the CRC 1342. We are looking forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with the two presenters in the future.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Fehrler
The EOC shares the concerns and criticism regarding the BMBF's draft reform of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG - German Act on Temporary Scientific Contracts)

The Equal Opportunity Committee (EOC) of the SFB 1342 shares the concerns and criticism regarding the BMBF's draft reform of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG - German Act on Temporary Scientific Contracts) which have been expressed in various ways by academic mid-level staff and employee representatives. As a body within a large third-party-funded association, the EOC has a statutory responsibility to address issues of equality and anti-discrimination. With this statement, we aim to highlight the problems and challenges associated with both the current and the proposed new version of the WissZeitVG, particularly in relation to equality and anti-discrimination within third-party funded research networks.

  • Lack of equal treatment of early careers in the case of care obligations

In principle, it is commendable that the planned reform aims to address the lost qualification periods of third-party funded employees due to parental leave or care activities. However, the reform proposal falls short by only providing an extension for the first three years of the postdoc period. Overall, these proposals are far from sufficient to remedy the existing shortcomings. It is necessary to apply the care-compensating rules to all third-party funded employees. Furthermore, it is particularly problematic that the reduction of working hours due to childcare responsibilities (i.e., Elterngeld Plus Program) is not taken into account when calculating the qualification period. For example, a person who reduces their working hours to 50% for one year due to care obligations is still credited with a full year towards their maximum qualification period, rather than half a year, which would be fair in comparison to individuals without care obligations. Opting for the Elterngeld Plus Program thus becomes a significant disadvantage.

  • Intersectional Disadvantages of International Scholars and Scientists

The WissZeitVG is highly complex. The lack of transparency, varying interpretations at different university locations, and the absence of information in English are among the challenges that international early career scientists face. For instance, navigating through bureaucratic systems consumes a substantial amount of time and energy, hindering substantial research activities. Alongside everyday discrimination, intersectional disadvantages of various kinds arise in both private and work spheres. Given that Germany has a strong interest in attracting scientists worldwide, the WissZeitVG should acknowledge and address the intersectional challenges faced by international scientists in Germany. The described challenges are also a serious disadvantage in the global competition for the best minds.

  • Obstructed future perspectives within the research network

Post-docs who are appointed as Principal Investigators (PIs) in a subsequent phase of an SFB project, based on their excellent competency in the prior phase, usually require funding from federal states. However, according to the planned revision of the WissZeitVG, such positions are not possible anymore, despite the significant benefits their expertise brings to the research association. The example of the SFB 1342 highlights that it is predominantly women who, as post-docs, assume the responsibility for a sub-project as (co-)PIs.

  • Discrimination against individuals who have worked in scientific positions in Germany

The non-transparent and often inconsistent interpretation of which periods are recognized as qualification periods leads to unequal treatment of qualification periods completed in Germany compared to those completed abroad, as the latter are generally not credited. This places individuals who have solely pursued their academic career in Germany at a disadvantage compared to those with professional experience abroad. This discrepancy particularly affects individuals with care obligations, who may have limited mobility compared to those without care responsibilities.

Contact:
Equal Opportunities Committee: eoc-crc1342@uni-bremen.de

 

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