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.

Covid-19 cases in Ukraine, by region (source: Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 232)
Covid-19 cases in Ukraine, by region (source: Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 232)
In the "Ukraine-Analysen", experts examine how the Ukrainian government is reacting to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Pavlo Illiashenko and Olena Levenets from the Technical University of Tallinn analyse in their article in issue 232 of "Ukraine-Analysen" how the novel corona virus spread in Ukraine and how the government reacted to it. They take into account data up to 18 March 2020.

The authors conclude that the Ukrainian government and the authorities were relatively passive until March 11: Mainly measures were announced, but only partially implemented, which aimed to prevent the entry of the virus from abroad (especially travel warnings, temperature measurements of people entering from Italy). Tests for Covid-19 infections were almost never carried out (only 43 tests until 11 March).

From 11 March onwards, government measures were significantly tightened. Schools and borders were closed, assembly bans were imposed, shops had to close, local states of emergency were declared. Ukraine only continues to lag behind in tests for infections, which have been carried out many times more frequently in neighbouring countries.

The authors conclude that the government of Ukraine was unprepared, at least in the initial phase of the crisis. This is also due to the fact that the government's ability to act was limited by the dismissal of ministers by the president at the beginning of March. After 11 March, however, there was a strict change of course, according to which the government acted much more proactively than its neighbouring states.

A detailed analysis of the Ukrainian response to the Covid 19 pandemic can be found in the current issue 232 of Ukraine Analyses (in German only).

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

The first position is is affiliated to the working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities", the second to the working group "Historical and Comparative Welfare State Research".

The Research Centre on Inequality and Social Policy (SOCIUM) at the University of Bremen (UB), which is a main institute of UB’s Social Sciences Research Focus, calls for applications at the earliest possible date for

two Postdoctoral Research Assistant positions - Pay grade 13 TV-L (100%).

Both job positions comprise the following tasks:

  • research in the fields of inequality or social policy research
  • inter-institutional coordination of research and training in the above-mentioned subject areas
  • participation in the preparation of project applications for third-party funding in the area of coordinated research funding.

The two positions are limited for a period of 3 years. The time limit is set according to § 2 paragraph 1 WissZeitVG (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). Accordingly, only applicants who still have valid qualification periods according to § 2, paragraph 1 WissZeitVG can be considered.


The first open position (application reference A39/20) is affiliated to the working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities" headed by Prof. Dr. Olaf Groh-Samberg. It carries the function of an Academic Coordinator of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS).

The job as Academic Coordinator (A39/20) includes:

  • Own research in the field of inequality and cohesion in an international comparative or global perspective, preferably including the field of social policy and the welfare state
  • Supervision and support of BIGSSS doctoral students. This entails serving as contact person for administrative, practical and career-planning questions, as well as advice on methodological, theoretical and content-related questions concerning the doctorate
  • Participation in teaching (4 hours weekly per semester), especially in the curricular program of BIGSSS, and the further development of the BIGSSS training program in the direction of targeted promotion of transfer competencies in the social sciences
  • Supporting the scientific exchange between BIGSSS, the "Research Institute Social Cohesion", the Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy", SOCIUM and InIIS, e.g. through workshops, lecture series and other formats of scientific and organisational exchange.

For further questions please contact Prof. Dr. Olaf Groh-Samberg (


The second position (application reference A40/20) is affiliated to the research group "Historical and Comparative Welfare State Research" headed by Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger. It carries the function of a Coordinator of the International Network on Social Policy and comprises the following areas of responsibility:

  • Own research on social policy in the Global South, preferably with the inclusion of questions of social inequality
  • Development, maintenance and coordination of an international network of experts on social policy or individual social policy areas in the Global South
  • Supporting scientific exchange between the Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy", SOCIUM, InIIS, BIGSSS and the "Research Institute Social Cohesion", e.g. through workshops, lecture series and other formats of scientific and organisational exchange

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger (


Conditions of employment for both positions:

  • Thematically relevant, very good doctorate in sociology (first position) or political science (second position) or a related field (both positions)
  • Excellent command of the English language (written and spoken), additional language skills are an advantage
  • International publications, preferably peer-reviewed
  • Pronounced interest in issues of social policy and/or social inequality, willingness and motivation to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Flexibility (willingness to travel on business) and high communication skills.

Please send in your applications with a letter of motivation, CV, and copies of certificates by 14.04.2020 (indicating the relevant application reference number) to:

University of Bremen
SOCIUM - Research Centre on Inequality and Social Policy (SOCIUM)
Ms. Dorit Lafferenz
5 Mary-Somerville-Straße
28359 Bremen

You may also submit your application electronically. Please send a pdf attachment with a curriculum vitae by e-mail to:

We kindly ask you to send only copies of your application documents (no folders). Unfortunately we cannot return originals.

The position is expected to be filled by 01 May 2020. The weekly working time is 10 hours.

The CRC 1342 is looking for a student assistant (10 hours/week) to work in the project A04 "Global developments in health care systems and in long-term care as a new social risk".

The aim of the project A04 is to trace globally the development of different types of health and long-term care systems and to explain the similarities and differences between systems in different countries. The project is directed by Prof. Heinz Rothgang, Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter and Prof. Sebastian Haunss.


  • Assist with data collection and processing (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Literature research
  • Assistance in organising and conducting international workshops and team meetings


  • Basic knowledge in qualitative and quantitative methods and data collection
  • Background in social sciences with good results (BA or MA)
  • Very good knowledge of English


  • Additional foreign language knowledge
  • Knowledge of EndNote
  • Interest in theoretical and empirical questions in at least one of the following areas: com-parative welfare state research, international relations, international organisations and countries of the Global South

We offer a cooperative working environment in a friendly, interdisciplinary, and multicultural team at one of the major research projects on comparative social policy study in Germany, where you get the opportunity to apply and develop your skills and knowledge. Further, there are possibilities to attend conferences and talks of the CRC 1342 and SOCIUM and/or to write a MA or BA thesis related to the project, which would be supervised by the project team members.

The contract is expected to start 01.05.2020, for a period of six months (an extension is welcomed). The mean working time will be ca. 10 hours per week. The usual working place is the SOCIUM (Mary-Somerville-Straße 3, Bremen). Compensation will be according to the usual rates for student assistants at the University of Bremen.

Please send your application with a CV, a short letter of motivation as well as a current transcript of records as a PDF document to Achim Schmid ( until March 20, 2020. In case of questions on the job offer please also contact Mr. Schmid.

Newly introduced Technical Paper Series as an essential part of the documentation of data collection

Documenting the data collection is an essential part of building WeSIS – the Welfare State Information System. Researchers, however, often struggle with the appropriate level of detail ranging from simple accounts of a final indicator to page-long descriptions about how an indicator came into being. Both WeSISPedia and the newly launched Technical Paper Series are an integral part of the documentation. The former serves as a codebook with basic information about variables and indicators collected and stored in WeSIS. As such it merely “describes” the data. The Technical Paper Series in turn allows for a structured way of documenting the data and the data generating process, for detailing country-specific definitions, or for describing complex coding rules. In short, the Technical Paper Series complements and eases the use of WeSIS and its data, and provides a more detailed description beyond a codebook and “hands on” suggestions for handling the data properly.

In the first paper Lara Eiser, Michael Lischka and Tobias Tkaczick describe the procedure of generating metric geographical distance data. Showing on which data basis (CShapes Dataset), with which software (ArcGIS) and which methods/features the WeSIS indicator 'Capital Distance' was created, they document the data generation in a transparent, comprehensible and replicable manner. In addition, the paper offers screenshots for adopting the calculations for further applications.

The Technical Paper Series is coordinated by Nils Düpont.

Dr. Nils Düpont
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57060

How to abolish child labour internationally

Jenny Hahs and Fabian Besche offer a simulation game for children aged 10 - 12 years on 31.03.2020 from 10 - 12 o'clock and 14 - 16 o'clock in the context of the Children's University 2020 hosted by the University of Bremen. The simulation game focuses on child labour and the right for education.

The children will get an insight into today's forms of child labour, its distribution and its history in interplay and tension with the introduction of compulsory schooling and the right for education. They form teams with other participants and become representatives of their country, advocating for their country's interests in a simulation of the International Labour Organization (ILO) conference on the abolition of child labour. In this way they also get a first practical insight into how international politics is made.

There are still a few free places and tickets can be booked on the website of the Children's University of Bremen.

Fabian Besche
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
P.O. Box 33 04 40
28334 Bremen
Phone: (0421) 218 - 57066

Jenny Hahs
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57069

Johanna Kuhlmann (project B01) is currently (January to March 2020) a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

She is a guest of Professor Jane Gingrich. During her stay, Johanna works on causal mechanisms in actor-centred approaches to comparative social policy.

Johanna Kuhlmann Oxford_Profil.png (174 KB)

Dr. Johanna Kuhlmann
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58574

Prof. Rueyming Tsay
Prof. Rueyming Tsay
Rueyming Tsay is currently staying as Visiting Scholar in project A06 “Formation and diffusion of family policy in a global perspective”

Project A06 is hosting Rueyming Tsay, Professor of Sociology at Tunghai University, Taiwan, who is a leading expert on family issues, particularly aging. His research interests also include social stratification, sociology of education, and quality of life. He has recently worked on a comparative study assessing the effects of family and social engagement on quality of life and health of the elders in Taiwan, China, and the US. The data were collected by research teams of Tunghai University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa to compare the aging process of Chinese in different societies and across cultural boundaries.

Professor Tsay will stay in Bremen until July 2020. His expertise on Asian societies, particularly related to the family culture, provides a valuable background for research performed at CRC.

Countries in East and Southeast Asia experienced an extraordinary pace of demographic and social change over the past five decades. Still, comparative welfare state research and research on family policy in this world region is scarce. It has been argued that trends in marriage and fertility reflect the tension between rapid social and economic changes on the one hand and limited change in family expectations and obligations on the other. Also, retirement arrangement within Asian families has become a significant issue for the policy makers. Demographic trends and Asian approach to social policy and family policy are thus highly contingent on traditional family values and practices.

An opportunity to get to know more about Professor Tsay’s work will also present itself when he will give a presentation at the Jour Fixe lecture series in May 2020.

Prof. Sonja Drobnič
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66360

CRC member Ulrich Mückenberger paid tribute to the scholar of law Éliane Vogel-Polsky at a memorial service in Brussels. Mückenberger was invited as a representative of European labour law.

Ulrich Mückenberger spoke in Brussels on 19 February 2020 at the memorial service for the great European law scholar Éliane Vogel-Polsky. Born in 1926 and died in 2015, Vogel-Polsky was one of the great figures in European labour law. She was a professor, lawyer, human rights campaigner, feminist and passionate European. Ulrich Mückenberger worked with her on and published, among other things, the document "Manifesto Social Europe" (2001).

In her honour, the Université Libre de Bruxelles organised a colloquium with friends and colleagues of Éliane Vogel-Polsky. Mückenberger was invited as a representative of European labour law.

More about the event on the website of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mückenberger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Faculty of Law
Universitätsallee, GW1
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66218

Dr. Irene Dingeldey with students at the Federal Foreign Office
Dr. Irene Dingeldey with students at the Federal Foreign Office
With the support of CRC 1342, Irene Dingeldey and Master students travelled to Berlin for three days. They participated in workshops with the ILO and the German Foreign Office.

Together with students from the course "Collective and Indivdiual Labour Rights" from the Master's programme in Social Policy, CRC member Irene Dingeldey travelled to the Federal Foreign Office and the ILO branch in Berlin. They participated in workshops from 15-17 January.

The main focus was on the exchange between practitioners and academics, the application of theory and empirical findings to practice, and the demonstration of the process of norm-setting and implementation using the example of Germany.

PD Dr. Irene Dingeldey
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute Labour and Economy
Wiener Straße 9 / Ecke Celsiusstraße
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-61710

SFB members Kressen Thyen and Alex Veit will chair Section 39 at the 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations.

Call for Papers: "The Politics of Internationalised Welfare" (S39)

European International Studies Association (EISA), 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Msida, Malta, September 16 – 19, 2020

Proposal submission deadline: March 16, 2020
Section chairs: Alex Veit & Kressen Thyen (University of Bremen)

The call for papers is now open for "The Politics of Internationalised Welfare", Section 39 at the EISA-PEC, 16-19 September 2020.
Section 39: The Politics of Internationalised Welfare

In recent years, students of International Relations have increasingly paid attention to internationalised welfare as a relevant field of study. In contrast to the traditional welfare literature, which conceptualises social policy primarily as a domestic issue, this new branch of scholarship emphasises the influence and impact of global dynamics and international actors on social needs and welfare provision. However, different areas of international engagement, such as global health, social protection, or humanitarian aid, are often treated as separate fields of study.
In this section, we aim to bring these fields together and to analyse the fundamental questions linking them: How do international political structures—from colonialism to global governance—impact on welfare states around the globe? What influence do international and transnational actors have on the design, finance and provision of welfare systems? Which ideas and interests drive international involvement in welfare provision?

From the "age of empires" to the contemporary multilateral world, international authorities and actors have addressed social inequality, political grievances and environmental risks in different ways. This section seeks to highlight changes and continuities of internationalised welfare. It is therefore structured in a historical order that connects the past, present, and future.

With this call we are inviting paper proposals in particular relating to the following panels:

  • Imperial, Late Imperial and Post-Imperial Welfare Politics in the Global South
  • Welfare in the Post-colony: Between Popular Contention, Statebuilding and Internationalisation
  • Beyond Capital IR – Studying Social Questions in the Countryside
  • Climate Change and Poverty: Vulnerable Populations, Human Security & Social Justice

A more detailed description of the intended panels follows below.
Please submit your paper proposal through the EISA-PEC online platform. Submission guidelines are available here:

We look forward to receiving your proposals and to seeing you in Msida!
Alex & Kressen

Imperial, Late Imperial and Post-Imperial Welfare Politics in the Global South
Panel Chair: Roy Karadağ

This panel targets the imperial sources of internationalised welfare. It aims to bring together scholars who investigate and critically reflect upon the ideas, policy measures and practices of empires in identifying, problematizing and dealing with poverty, social crises and contestations from excluded groups across global peripheries. What were the features of this imperial wave of global social policy? Under which conditions did imperial politicians, bureaucrats and academics engage with teaching, healing and nurturing subject populations in colonies and protectorates? In which ways were these policies and practices themselves transformed in the late imperial years after the Second World War? What were the overall consequences for social policy making after decolonisation had finally materialised?
Organised around this set of questions, contributions ideally bridge the gap between themes of dependent development and the politics of empire, on the one hand, and of welfare statism and social policy, on the other hand. In particular, the goal is to theorise what the "imperial" is in "imperial social policy and welfare". Geographically, we invite papers that cover African, Middle Eastern and Asian contexts of imperial rule. With regard to policy fields, papers may cover anything from education, health, food, labour, pensions, housing and social assistance schemes. Contributions may render the multi-sited and multi-causal nature of imperial policy making visible, for example by investigating the various imperial justifications of policies and regulations, and the contestations they produced both within and beyond the respective imperial institutions.

Welfare in the Post-colony: Between Popular Contention, Statebuilding and Internationalisation
Panel Chairs: Kressen Thyen & Alex Veit

This panel interrogates postcolonial welfare states in the Global South as processes and products of entanglement between domestic and transnational political configurations.
On the national level, public welfare connects state organizations and social groups. It may increase state legitimacy, but also trigger new demands. It addresses social inequality, but also manifests group privileges. It symbolises nationhood and provides vision, but also exposes gaps between ambition and implementation. Geographically, welfare bureaucracies embody the state in the most remote village, but also reproduce urban-rural divides. Welfare administrative knowledge is the backbone of planning for the public good, but such data can also be used as a tool of control and repression. In sum, welfare provision creates colourful, often contradictory bonds between states and populations.
At the same time, welfare states of the Global South are transnational configurations. The design, finance, and provision of welfare is a transnational process in which international organisations, bilateral donors, transnational NGOs, religious organisations and expert communities are centrally involved. While such international involvement arguably creates a "global social policy" in its infancy, it also renders concepts of sovereignty, citizenship, democracy, accountability, entitlement, and durability highly precarious. This fundamentally puts into question previous assumptions on welfare state formation.
To address these processes of entanglement between transnational and domestic configurations, we invite papers addressing or relating to the following questions: How can we conceptualise welfare in the Global South? How does internationalisation impact on everyday patterns of legitimation and contestation? In what ways did neoliberalism and structural adjustments disrupt postcolonial welfare politics? Where do countervailing ideas emerge against dominant welfare approaches?

Beyond Capital IR – Studying Social Questions in the Countryside
Panel Chairs: Klaus Schlichte & Anna Wolkenhauer

A lot is going on in the countryside. In recent years, Sociology, Development Studies and Political Science have paid renewed attention to rural areas for a number of reasons. Deteriorating food security, increasingly frequently felt impacts of climate change, and a growing awareness of sustainability issues have put farmers back at the centre of attention.
Practices like land-grabbing, the depletion of natural resources, food insecurity or huge gaps in public service delivery seem to fuel forms of opposition that have hitherto rather been ignored by “capital IR”. This panel aims at interrogating social questions that specifically address rural areas, rural populations and internationalised politics targeting them. This can include social policies, rural development, food policies or other schemes geared by “the will to improve” (Tanya Li). While locally effective, state and non-state policies are embedded in a global system of development initiatives, governance structures, trade rules, and political representation more widely. We are convinced that IR is well-advised not to ignore the connections between rural change and international structures – historical and contemporary.
This panel invites contributions related to the following or related questions: How are structural transformations in the countryside addressed by (internationalised) welfare? How have state retrenchment and a neoliberal redefinition of social policy affected rural areas? How are social and political questions related in the countryside; do welfare and political representation interact? What potential do food security interventions hold for social inclusion and transformation?

Climate Change and Poverty: Vulnerable Populations, Human Security & Social Justice

Panel Chair: Simon Chin-Yee

Climate change plays an increasingly important role in discussions of poverty, human security and socio-economic risks. Vulnerable populations are increasingly susceptible to weather shocks, desertification, sea level rise and conflicts which can lead to poverty traps. Sustained eradication of poverty will depend on many socio-economic conditions, including access to health care, education and economic growth. Climate change impacts on poverty exponentially as vulnerable populations are more exposed to its effects and have less capacity to adapt or react to natural disasters. Additionally, climate change is increasingly seen as a threat multiplier further exacerbating impacts on human security. These are human rights and climate justice issues.
This panel seeks to examine how changing environmental conditions are impacting vulnerable populations with an eye to the future, answering questions such as: How can vulnerable communities avoid falling into the poverty trap? How do populations cope when experiencing negative shocks in multiple channels simultaneously? What responsibility does the global climate regime have to address issues of human rights and vulnerable populations? To what extent are climate related risks addressed by internationalised social policy-making?


Section Chairs are Alex Veit ( and Kressen Thyen (, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), CRC Global Dynamics of Social Policy, University of Bremen, Germany.

For further information related to the submission process please contact

Dr. Kressen Thyen
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67488

Dr. Alex Veit
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67471