What social policies did Eastern and Western Europe pursue during the Cold War? What influence had the competition between the systems? How did the transformation phase proceed from 1989 onwards? These were questions addressed at the 4th Hermann Weber Con

For the West, the communist welfare state represented a central challenge in the competition of systems. In the competition of systems, socio-political superiority was also supposed to be demonstrated. The end of the Cold War and the end of the pressure to legitimise against the other system were in turn reasons for the welfare state reforms in the 1990s and 2000s in East and West, which were also discussed at the conference.

Six CRC 1342 researchers took part in the conference:

  • Herbert Obinger explained the basics of the relationship between the Cold War, communism and social policy
  • Carina Schmitt and Maria Ignatova-Pfarr gave a presentation on Bulgaria's pension policy during the Cold War
  • Delia González des Reufels gave a presentation on the social policy of the last Chilean military dictatorship during the Cold War
  • Cornalius Torp gave a presentation on pension policy in East and West Germany during the Cold War
  • Lukas Grawe gave a presentation on the legitimisation of pronatalist family policy in the GDR.

The 4th Hermann Weber Conference took place in Berlin from 8 to 10 June 2022. The organisers were the research group "The 'activating welfare state' - a political and social history of German social policy, 1979-2017" at the SOCIUM of the University of Bremen, funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung. The conference was financially supported by the Gerda-und-Hermann-Weber-Stiftung.

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

Dr. Lukas Grawe
Maria Ignatova-Pfarr
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57057
E-Mail: ignatova@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58567
E-Mail: herbert.obinger@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt
Feldkirchenstraße 21
96045 Bamberg
Phone: 0951-863 2734
E-Mail: carina.schmitt@uni-bamberg.de

Prof. Dr. Cornelius Torp