News

Here you can find the latest updates on the Collaborative Research Centre "Global Dynamics of Social Policy": summaries of current research results, references to our latest publications, outcomes of events and more news from the projects and their staff members.


The position is expected to be filled on 01 March 2020, the monthly working time is 26 hours.

Ertila Druga, member of the CRC's project B08 "Transformation of Health Care Systems in Central and Eastern Europe", is seeking to fill

a student assistant position for 26 hours per month for a period of four months (March – June 2020).

The student is expected to assist Ertila Druga's dissertation project in social policy research, particularly in research on healthcare policy and reforms in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC).

Tasks

  • Literature research and literature management
  • Assistance with data processing


Requirements

  • Knowledge of literature management programs
  • Experience in researching and analysing academic literature
  • Very good knowledge of English


Ertila Druga offers

  • Remuneration at the usual rates for student assistants at the University of Bremen
  • Insights into an interesting field of work and research


Please send your application consisting of a short CV, and a current transcript of records as a pdf by December 21, 2019 at the following email address: ertila.druga@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Nils Düpont
Dr. Nils Düpont
Nils Düpont spent several weeks in Göteborg for project A01 in order to foster cooperation with the Swedish democracy research institute. In an interview, he tells us what he expects from it.

You were visiting scholar for some time during the summer at the V-Dem Institute in Gothenburg , which aims to measure democracy worldwide. Your stay in Gothenburg has resulted in a cooperation between our CRC and the V-Dem Institute. How did this come about?

One of my tasks at the CRC is to collect information on national and especially political variables. My personal interest is above all in the parties and their ideology or positions and the question of what influence this has on the introduction and spread of social policy. So far, there is little data that reaches back far or has a global scope. For this reason, I had begun to work with Holger Döring, a colleague at Philip Manow's chair, to collect data, first on election results and parties in all the countries we study at the CRC - from 1880 until today. Holger had been in contact with Anna Lührmann from the V-Dem team for some time. She is Deputy Director there and had initiated a new project where they wanted to go all the way to the party level in their investigation. It quickly became clear that the data that we had collected at the CRC, most of which had already been validated, was actually the basis for what V-Dem had in mind. And it was through this connection that the cooperation came about.

So what does the CRC contribute to the cooperation?

We provide information on elections, parties and election results from all over the world since 1880. These data form the basis for the V-Party project. And on the basis of this data it is also controlled for which parties and which year the V-Dem experts subsequently receive questions about the parties, their ideology and their organizational characteristics.

And what does the CRC get?

The decisive thing is that this is the first time that we will receive information about parties' ideology or some organizational characteristics that have not yet been the focus of party research. In party research, too, we have a relatively strong OECD bias - similar to the social policy research of the CRC. Latin America is still relatively well covered. But as soon as you look at Africa or Asia, it becomes scarcer with expertise, information and analyses. And the nice thing about V-Dem is that they have this global network of experts, that the survey has been running for a few years now and that we also get to work with experts who assess parties for which we still have little or no information. This information helps us to assess the parties ideologically in the first place. And together with the information we collect about, for example, strength in parliament, independent variables can then be created for social policy research and the question: What influence do parties have on the introduction or expansion of social policy? In sum, we get information back for the CRC, which we can test as variables in the style of partisan politics.

What did you actually do in Gothenburg at V-Dem?

Essentially, we discussed a few things conceptually and harmonized the data we had collected so far. We then sent these preliminary data to country and regional experts for a validation check. All in all, we were able to lay the first foundation on which we are now building.

Who did you work with in Gothenburg?

Essentially with Anna Lührmann, who also heads the V-Party project. V-Party is based on V-Dem, the methodology and the whole setup. The special thing about it is that V-Dem has always been based on a macro-quantitative country/year logic and that V-Party is the first project that looks into countries, one level lower. This, of course, brings with it its own difficulties in collecting data. But the time was ripe to try it. Anna Lührmann as project manager is the central figure that also holds the network of experts together.

What can we expect from the survey?

The preparation for the survey is now entering the hot phase. After the plausibility check and validation by the regional experts had been completed, we incorporated the feedback and practically finalised the data collection. At the same time, the technical stack is being set up so that the survey can be rolled out in January. The last experts are currently being recruited for this purpose. They can then log on to a web platform and see the relevant information. It is therefore very important that the raw data is correct so that the coder can see what is right and what can be done with it. If all goes well, the survey should be completed in January. Then the usual process begins for the V-Dem people: data cleansing and preparation. We hope that in spring of next year the data will be ready so that initial analyses can be made. And that we will then learn a little more about parties in the world about which we know little or nothing.


Contact:
Dr. Nils Düpont
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57060
E-Mail: duepont@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens, Prof. Dr. Marianne Ulriksen, Sharla Plant, Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter, Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens, Prof. Dr. Marianne Ulriksen, Sharla Plant, Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter, Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels
In a workshop with publisher Sharla Plant the editorial board finalised its plan for the next 18 months and developed ideas for further volumes.

At the beginning of December, the editors of the new CRC Palgrave Macmillan book series "Global Dynamics of Social Policy", Lorraine Frisina Doetter, Delia González de Reufels, Kerstin Martens and Marianne Ulriksen met with Palgrave publisher Sharla Plant in Bremen. It was jointly agreed that three volumes would be published next year:

  • Carina Schmitt (Ed.): Social Protection in the Global South
  • Lutz Leisering (Ed.): A Hundred Years of Social Security in Middle-Income Countries
  • Kerstin Martens, Dennis Niemann & Alexandra Kaasch (Ed.): International Organizations in Global Social Policy


Subsequently, the draft of an edited volume was discussed, which will tell a short history of socio-political turning points worldwide in about 40 short articles. The contributions are exclusively provided by members of CRC 1342 and are based on results of its 15 projects. The volume will be published in the first half of 2021.

After the editors had decided on a design for the Palgrave CRC series, Sharla Plant met in the afternoon with around a dozen authors who presented their ideas for further volumes in individual discussions. These ideas will be finalised in the coming months.

Dr. Stefan Giljum
Dr. Stefan Giljum
Stefan Giljum from the Vienna University of Economics and Business presented his database and analysis project on commodity flows and their ecological and social consequences.

Stefan Giljum from the Vienna University of Economics and Business has visited CRC 1342 to present his database and analysis project FINEPRINT. The aim of FINEPRINT is to generate knowledge that allows the connection between production and consumption behaviour (focus: "Global North") and the ecological and social consequences of resource extraction on site (focus: "Global South") to be analysed. Basically, global value chains are broken down into their material composition. The result is a growing database with disaggregated and georeferenced data.

In front of a larger audience, Giljum traced the paths of selected material flows from the point of resource extraction through production to the value-added segment in the consumer regions and analysed their ecological consequences at the point of raw material extraction (e.g. water scarcity, deforestation, land use). The subsequent discussion also focused on how these data enable analyses with regard to socio-economic effects. For the CRC members, a very interesting point of discussion was how subnational data can supplement the (inter)national perspective of the CRC.

In the morning, the A01 project had an internal meeting with Stefan Giljum. There he presented in detail the database and analysis project FINEPRINT, which is equipped with an ERC consolidator grant. This was followed by an intensive exchange of experiences on challenges and possible solutions in setting up large information systems such as WeSIS or the FINEPRINT database. In particular, the following points were discussed:

  • Handling copyrights when using existing data sets
  • Documentation and maintenance of your own databases
  • Implementation of the Open Source Principles
  • Data quality (e.g. validation, harmonisation)


It turned out that FINEPRINT is a good example for the construction of a database with excellent visualisations and possibilities for analysis, which WeSIS can use as orientation in some respects. During the discussion, some intersections between the projects emerged, which gave rise to ideas for future cooperation.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Ivo Mossig
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 / 421 / 218 67410
E-Mail: mossig@uni-bremen.de

The position is expected to be filled on 01 February 2020, the weekly working time is 5 hours.

Project B02 is part of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre CRC 134 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" and currently seeking to fill

a student assistant position for 5 hours per week.

The Project B02 "Emergence, Expansion, and Transformation of the Welfare State in the Cono Sur in Exchange with (Southern) Europe (1850–1990)" is directed by Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels as principal investigator and analyzes the emergence and diffusion of social policy in Latin America within two spheres of state intervention: health care and workers' protection legislation. The project furthermore focuses on three case studies, i.e. countries: Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The period studied lasts in the first phase of the project from the mid nineteenth century until the late 1930s.

The contract will most likely start on 1 February 2019 for a period of five months minimum; an extension may be considered after due time.

Tasks

  • Literature research and literature management
  • Assistance with data processing
  • Assistance with the organization and implementation of workshops
  • Proof reading and support in the editing of texts


Requirements

  • Knowledge of literature management programs
  • Experience in researching and analyzing academic literature
  • Very good knowledge of English, knowledge of Spanish is an advantage
  • Applicants should be interested in organizational tasks and team work


We offer

  • Remuneration at the usual rates for student assistants at the University of Bremen
  • Insights into an interesting field of work and research at the intersection of two disciplines
  • Collaboration in a motivated team and dynamic CRC
  • Diverse tasks in the context of the CRC 1342


Please send your application consisting of a short CV, and a current transcript of records as a pdf by 12 December 2019 to Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels at the following email address: dgr@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Olivier Burtin
Dr. Olivier Burtin
The historian Olivier Burtin from the LMU was a guest at the CRC 1342 and explained the generosity of veteran care as a result of numerous causal mechanisms.

At the beginning of November Olivier Burtin, historian at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, was a guest at the CRC 1342. Burtin gave a guest lecture at the Socium and took part in the conference "Causal Mechanisms in the Analysis of Social Policy Dynamics" on the following days.

Burtin investigates the development of the US-American social program, which exclusively favours war veterans and has an annual budget of about 220 billion US dollars. Burtin interpreted the social program for war veterans as the result of several causal mechanisms:

  • The USA was involved in many wars
  • The wars were fought almost exclusively outside the country, which hardly affected the civilian population, unlike the soldiers - this gap gives moral weight to the claims of the veterans
  • Veteran organizations are established and influential political forces
  • Social benefits for veterans have a long tradition
  • Until the middle of the 20th century, the US army consisted almost exclusively of white men, a group with great political weight
  • And, finally, politicians were reluctant to cut benefits for veterans so as not to jeopardize their chances of success in elections.

 


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

Workshop with international experts.
Workshop with international experts.
B06 members and other international experts discussed the transfer of social policy concepts from the OECD sphere to the post-Soviet region. The results of the workshop are to be published in "Global Social Policy".

The CRC research project B06 on "External reform models and internal debates on the new conceptualisation of social policy in the post-Soviet region" has organised an international workshop on "International knowledge transfer in social policy: The case of the post-Soviet region" on November 9, 2019.

With participants from the post-Soviet region as well as from Europe and North America, the workshop brought together experts from political science, economics, sociology and other relevant academic disciplines. It aimed to draw a more comprehensive picture of the influence of social policy concepts originating in the OECD world on reform processes in the post-Soviet region. The intensive discussions focused especially on the role that international actors play in this knowledge transfer and on the domestic evaluation of these social policy concepts. For this workshop, knowledge transfer has been understood as an open and multi-directional process with a strong discursive dimension.

The result of the workshop will be submitted to Global Social Policy for a special issue asking how the underlying social policy concepts are perceived and evaluated and in particular which role domestic political decision-makers and the public ascribe to Western reform models. At the same time, the special issue wants to look at a broad range of actors (not only at international governmental organizations, but also at relevant non-governmental organizations and international experts). Consequently, the focus of the analysis lies on the main actors during the (still ongoing) redesign of the post-Soviet welfare systems. The contributions for the proposed special issue come from different disciplinary traditions, but they converge in their basic focus on the international knowledge transfer and on the domestic evaluation of the related social policy concepts.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research Centre for East European Studies
Klagenfurter Straße 8
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-69602
E-Mail: pleines@uni-bremen.de

12.11.2019

Open the Black Box

Prof. emer. Dr. Renate Mayntz
Prof. emer. Dr. Renate Mayntz
At a two-day conference, members of the CRC 1342 discussed with international colleagues how social policy phenomena can be explained using the concept of causal mechanisms.

Social science analyses based solely on the correlation of variables cannot fully explain complex social phenomena. The black box remains closed: It remains unclear how the result of a process actually comes about. Current approaches attempt to eliminate this deficit with "mechanism-based explanations". The aim of the conference organised by our CRC project B01 was to stimulate discussion on the characteristics of causal mechanisms and to establish a closer link between these concepts and the investigation of social policy developments.

The conference was attended by nearly 100 researchers, many of whom were significantly involved in the discussion on causal mechanisms. Keynote speeches were given by Renate Mayntz (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies), Gary Goertz (University of Notre Dame) and James Mahoney (Northwestern University). Armando Barrientos (University of Manchester and currently Mercator Fellow at the CRC) built the bridge to social policy research with a lecture on the development of social insurance in Latin America.

The various sessions presented theoretical and methodological contributions to causal mechanisms, as well as case studies in which social policy developments in a number of countries are analysed using causal mechanisms. Finally, the plenary session dealt with the question of whether a "toolbox" of causal mechanisms could be put together that could be used for the analysis of social phenomena. Johanna Kuhlmann and Frank Nullmeier (CRC 1342) focused their presentation on an actor-centred variant of causal mechanisms and approached the question of a toolbox by distinguishing between elementary and complex causal mechanisms. Peter Starke (University of Southern Denmark) discussed the question of a toolbox using the example of mechanisms from diffusion literature.

Prof. Armando Barrientos
Prof. Armando Barrientos
Barrientos, a leading expert in social policy and poverty reduction in the Global South, will stay in Bremen until early December.

Armando Barrientos has joined the Collaborative Research Center 1342 last week as a Mercator Fellow. Barrientos is a leading international expert on social policy and poverty reduction in the Global South. Most recently he has publishes extensively on the expansion of social assistance in Latin America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Barrientos will initially stay in Bremen until the beginning of December. During this time he will participate in the conference "Causal Mechanisms in the Analysis of Social Policy Dynamics", where he will give a lecture on "The rise and fall of Bismarckian social policy in Latin America". In the coming weeks, Barrientos will also consult with various projects of the CRC 1342. After his visit Barrientos will remain a consultant and cooperation partner of the CRC 1342. In the coming year, for example, he will organise a colloquium for doctoral students researching social policy in Latin America.

Armando Barrientos is the first Mercator Fellow at the CRC 1342. The DFG-funded Mercator Fellowships facilitate intensive and long-term exchange with international researchers.


Contact:
Prof. Armando Barrientos
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58521
E-Mail: Armando.Barrientos@manchester.ac.uk

Prof. John W. Meyer
Prof. John W. Meyer
In a workshop, the Stanford professor discussed the projects of four PhD students. Previously, he had given a lecture on New Institutionalism, which is documented on video.

John W. Meyer is currently Hans-Koschnick-Professor at Socium and CRC 1342. On October 30th he gave a workshop on New Institutionalism: After his key note on "New Institutionalis in a Globalizing World", four PhD students from CRC 1342 presented their research projects and received valuable feedback from John W. Meyer and other guests. 

John W. Meyer will be working at the University of Bremen until mid-November. You can watch his lecture here:


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58629
E-Mail: mwindzio@uni-bremen.de