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.

Prof Dr Ndangwa Noyoo
Prof Dr Ndangwa Noyoo
Ndangwa Noyoo from the University of Cape Town was visiting the CRC 1342 and called for a "Global Social Policy" to reduce poverty migration.

Professor Ndangwa Noyoo (University of Cape Town) gave a lecture on "Global Social Policy in an Era of Increasing Unilateralism, Narrow Nationalism and Xenophobia" at CRC 1342 on Tuesday, February 12th. In the lecture, Noyoo pleaded for a renewal of international solidarity. He recalled programmatic development cooperation especially in the decades after the Second World War, which, unlike today's "band aid" humanitarianism, was committed to a transformative agenda.

According to Noyoo, who works in Cape Town on social development, the current "narrow nationalism" in industrialised countries has been triggered among other things by strong migration movements. "Global Social Policy" as a transformative international solidarity is therefore an important instrument to reduce poverty migration and thus to ease political discourses in the global North.


Contact:
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
E-Mail: veit@uni-bremen.de

Prof Dr Heinz Rothgang
Prof Dr Heinz Rothgang
Technological solutions and devices for long-term care are being developed worldwide. In an interview with the TV station Radio Bremen, CRC member Heinz Rothgang has evaluated whether robots and IT are suitable for coping with the long-term care crisis.

"The use of robots and IT in long-term care is certainly part of the future, but it is not the only solution to the long-term care crisis," said Heinz Rothgang, director of projects A04 and B07, in the programme "buten und binnen" on Radio Bremen. "Technology can support but not replace people. Because care means communication and human affection". Technology cannot offer this. It can support and reduce the burden on caregivers, however, through sensor technology, remote monitoring and the like.

Rothgang is not concerned that humanity will suffer as soon as robots and IT are used in care. He rather has doubts that meaningful technical solutions will find their way into long-term care at all, as the use of technology in this area is generally looked upon with skepticism.

Heinz Rothgang and his staff at Socium are therefore investigating what wishes and needs for technical assistance really exist among people in need of long-term care as well as among care-givers. The aim is to ensure that technical solutions are developed that are actually applied effectively.

In "buten und binnen", Rothgang also emphasised that the attractiveness of the nursing profession must be increased considering the long-term care crisis, so that more people want to work in this field.

The entire interview with Heinz Rothgang (in German only): "buten und binnen" from 14.02.2019


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Dr Roy Karadag
Dr Roy Karadag
Roy Karadag looks back on two short research stays in Egypt and reports on bureaucratic hurdles, promising archives and the devastating state of the Egyptian education system.

You travelled to Egypt for project B09. Where exactly have you been and for how long?

I was in Cairo for two shorter stays: one from late September to mid-October and then again from mid-November to early December. I was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Political Science at the American University in Cairo.

What were your plans for these two research stays?

I knew that access to authorities, ministries and politicians in Egypt had become tricky. With the harsh repression that has prevailed since 2013, the situation has also become increasingly difficult for scientists, especially for European or US scientists. It is very difficult to build up well-founded networks locally if you have not yet researched and published on Egypt, as it is the case with me. That is why my trips to Cairo were primarily intended to find out whether I would even get access to the ministries in order to find out how social policy is negotiated and implemented over there.

And how did it go?

I initially conducted eight or nine interviews, mainly with teachers and doctors, and I also had several background talks with academics. First of all, I wanted to talk to the people who are active in the socio-political fields we are investigating. I wanted to find out what these people could tell me about dealing with health insurance companies or with the apparatus, the ministries. I wanted to know which political decisions are relevant to their everyday lives and which developments determine them the most.

And what about access to authorities and ministries?

I come back a little disillusioned. During my first stay, I approached the university experts in the social policy fields. One was even an advisor to the Minister of Education. But unfortunately this was not helpful for access to ministries and politicians. I will probably have to give up the idea of being able to conduct expert interviews in the ministries. This is a great pity, because research on Egypt in the 1990s and 2000s by people who were able to expand their networks over many years was really strong: great books on power networks, corruption, Islamist and other opposition groups; but unfortunately very little on policy fields such as health and education.

Today there are invincible bureaucratic procedures to prevent unpleasant research and research into opposition and resistance. And, unfortunately, also harsh violence, as the murder of the Italian doctoral student from Cambridge showed. Such violence only needs to be used once or twice to ensure that the message really is heard and that the fingers are kept off the investigation of trade union activism. Cairo has become really unfree in this respect.

What does this mean for your work?

We will confine ourselves to going through the historical material, the newspaper archives, in order to reconstruct certain phases and certain socio-political decisions. Building on this, we want to see what effect this has had on issues of state formation, state-society relations, people's expectations of governments and administration. Thus we can best develop something like a historical theory of social policy in Africa to show what is specific to Africa and what role the continent plays or can play in discourses on global social policy.

The access to the archives is guaranteed?

The newspaper archives are now fairly well available online. Of course I still try to get access to central archives. In Cairo, the central location would be Dar al-Watha'iq, the Egyptian national archive. It's all just a matter of formal enquiries and will probably be a longer bureaucratic process. But it should be possible. It would be nice to have such material on decrees, because these decrees are most likely to show what everyday political life looks like in Egypt.

You are examining three policy areas: Health, education and nutrition. Which period do you want to cover?

Our plan is to cover the whole century - 1918 to 2018. Of course it is difficult to investigate three policy fields over 100 years. Therefore, when analysing the newspaper archives, other material and secondary literature, we concentrate primarily on the major shifts that occurred in North Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. In Egypt, the late 1940s and early 1950s are very interesting because social policy served for the first time to legitimise the new state bureaucracy.

You mentioned that you interviewed teachers and doctors. What was the most interesting thing you learned from these people?

The focus of the conversations was on education, and a depressing picture emerged. Egypt is a poor country with huge social inequality. This is also evident in the field of education and education policy. Upper middle classes and the rich have detached themselves and can offer their children diverse and good educational opportunities. They have already sent their children to German, American or British schools in the past, and now the Japanese are also involved. There is strong differentiation and competition within the economic and bureaucratic elites and their children for power opportunities in decades to come. This competition is brutal. There is something like a central baccalaureate, but there are also accusations of corruption and fraud. There is much room to turn money into educational opportunities, while lower classes struggle with overcrowded classes, difficult transportation systems and schools with poor infrastructure. That's why parents scrape together every cent to offer their children tutoring - and this tutoring is offered by teachers who don't earn much themselves. For the teachers it is not decisive to teach at a public school, but to give private lessons. This of course diminishes the quality of general education. All ideas developed in global educational discourses like interactive teaching and the like simply bounce off these harsh socio-economic realities.

You have now mapped the field and explored networks. How do you proceed?

I will go to Egypt and Cairo again to look at the material from the 1940s to the 1970s. I will systematically compile the material on relevant political decisions in order to discuss and evaluate the greatest similarities and differences within our project.


Contact:
Dr. Roy Karadag
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67468
E-Mail: karadag@uni-bremen.de

Tao Liu, Tobias ten Brink and Armin Müller presented their research at an international conference of the Centre for Chinese Public Administration Research in Guangzhou.

From 24-25 November 2018, members of project B05 participated in the “Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy International Conference 2018” in Guangzhou, China. The Centre for Chinese Public Administration Research at Sun Yat-sen University organised the conference, and scholars from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, Korea, Australia, Germany and the UK attended.

Prof. Tao Liu, Prof. Tobias ten Brink and Dr. Armin Müller presented during the conference. Dr. Müller evaluated the effectiveness of health insurance in preventing illness-induced poverty in China among the elderly, whereas Prof. Liu defined digital risks and how they could challenge social protection. Prof. ten Brink introduced the Collaborative Research Centre 1342, its two Project Areas A and B, and project B05. Adding on the introduction, he also mentioned how Chinese Dibao (minimum living allowance) has synthesized disparate ideas of European welfare universalism, American's workfare and the Chinese tradition of pragmatism and regionalism. Project team B05 also had an internal meeting at Guangzhou.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Tao Liu
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute of Sociology
Forsthausweg 2
47057 Duisburg
Phone: +49 203 379-3747
E-Mail: tao.liu@uni-due.de

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: arm.mueller@jacobs-university.de

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: t.tenbrink@jacobs-university.de

Tao Liu
Tao Liu
In a brief interview, the co-director of project B05 explains the advantages of the distinction from the top Chinese university for the CRC 1342.

You have been recently honored as a Distinguished Professor by the Zhejiang University - congratulations! In which department is the professorship located?
At the School of Public Affairs. The distinction is limited to three years: from December 2018 to December 2021.

How important is Zhejiang University in China and internationally?
Zhejiang University is one of the top universities in China. It currently ranks third behind Beijing University and Tsinghua University. In the QS World University Ranking, Zhejiang University is currently in 68th place. For comparison: the Technical University of Munich is in 61st place in this ranking.

Will you be at Zhejiang University more often now?
I will visit Zhejiang University every year and give a series of lectures on social policy.

What practical advantages does this distinction have for you personally as a scientist and for the CRC?
I am now a formal member of Zhejiang University, I have a university card and I can use the entire infrastructure: from the cafeteria to the library. Equally important is the contact and access to scientists, especially to important social policy researchers. In the long run, the Distinguished Professor status will greatly facilitate our social policy research in the Yangtze Delta region and our access to regional and subnational social policy data.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Tao Liu
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute of Sociology
Forsthausweg 2
47057 Duisburg
Phone: +49 203 379-3747
E-Mail: tao.liu@uni-due.de

The CRC 1342 is seeking two student assistants for its project "Transnational service provision in long-term care between Western and Eastern Europe": 10 hours/week each, starting April 1, 2019.

Project B07 "Transnational service provision in long-term care between Western and Eastern Europe" of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" (CRC 1342) is seeking to fill two student assistant positions for 10 hours per week, starting from 1 April 2019 for a period of three months (extendable).

Led by Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall and Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang, project B07 aims to describe and explain the introduction and expansion of long-term care systems in Western and Central Europe. The project focuses on four country case studies (Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden) as well as three countries of origin of migrant care workers (Poland, Romania and Ukraine).

Tasks:

  • Assistance in data collection, processing and analysis
  • Literature research and management
  • Assistance in the organisation and implementation of workshops and conferences
  • Support in the planning of field work


Requirements:

  • Basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative data collection, processing and analysis, and of corresponding IT software
  • Interest in theoretical and empirical questions of social policy and labour market research
  • Good knowledge of English, as the working language within the project is English
  • Knowledge of another language relevant to the project (Italian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Ukrainian) most welcome


What we offer:

  • Insights into an interesting field of work and research
  • Collaboration in a friendly, interdisciplinary team
  • Remuneration at the usual rates for student assistants at the University of Bremen
  • If desired, possibility of longer-term employment and to choose a final thesis-topic related to the project


Please send your application with a short curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation and a current Transcript of Records as a PDF document to Dr. Anna Safuta (anna.safuta@uni@bremen.de) by 15 February 2019.

Haus der Wissenschaft (© Haus der Wissenschaft e.V.)
Haus der Wissenschaft (© Haus der Wissenschaft e.V.)
The CRC 1342 invites PhD students to the summer school "State, Society and Citizen - Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Welfare State Development". The workshops and discussions will take place from 19 to 23 August in Bremen.

The Nordwel summer school aims to stimulate discussions across disciplines and foster innovative cross-disciplinary research on the development of welfare states over time and in a global context.

We invite PhD students from different disciplinary backgrounds to participate in the discussion on the development of welfare states, their preconditions, present status, and how we ought to study them. PhD students present their papers in parallel sessions and get feedback from senior scholars and junior colleagues.

For more information on the programme of the 11th NordWel Summer School, the application process and the call for papers, please visit the dedicated section on our website.

 

Tao Liu and Tobias ten Brink, who are jointly directing project B05, have published a special issue of the "Journal of Chinese Governance". The six articles of the issue examine China's social policy from an international, comparative perspective.

Liu and ten Brink argue in their introduction that the expansion of social policy in China in recent decades has been influenced and facilitated by international and supranational influences. Liu elaborates on this in his contribution "Epistemological globalization and the shaping of social policy in China". According to Liu and ten Brink, the logic of Chinese social reforms cannot be understood if these external factors are not taken into account. How exactly the transfer of knowledge and ideas between countries of the Global North and China has taken place and how concepts have been taken up, adopted or modified, however, requires further investigation.

Liu's an ten Brinks introduction to the special issue is available online.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Tao Liu
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute of Sociology
Forsthausweg 2
47057 Duisburg
Phone: +49 203 379-3747
E-Mail: tao.liu@uni-due.de

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: t.tenbrink@jacobs-university.de

Irene Dingeldey and Jean-Yves Gerlitz in Geneva.
Irene Dingeldey and Jean-Yves Gerlitz in Geneva.
Members of project A03 discussed their research on the regulation of labour standards and their segmentation effect with experts of the International Labour Organization.

Project A03 was on a research visit to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva from 3 to 7 December, represented by Dr. Heiner Fechner, Jean-Yves Gerlitz, Jenny Hahs and PD Dr. Irene Dingeldey. The ILO tries to implement minimum standards of labour regulation and health and safety in all countries of the world. In order to support this, the ILO is collecting relevant data worldwide and is pushing ahead with a wide range of studies and research tasks relating to the topic of labour. The ILO is thus an important partner organisation of CRC 1342 and in particular of project A03 "Worlds of Labour".

The research of project A03 on the regulation of labour standards and their segmentation effect was discussed with experts from the ILO's own research department (RESEARCH), the International Labour Standards Department (NORMES), the Labour Law and Reform Department (LABOUR LAW) and the Statistics Department (STATISTICS). Both the assumptions on the segmentation effect of legal norms and the planned analysis of the influence of colonial relations on the development of specific regulatory patterns met with great interest. The segmentation-effective influence of ILO instruments was also reflected. The use of leximetrics as a method for the analysis of labour regulations was commented both supportively and critically.

The ILO offered opportunities for cooperation both in terms of methodology and content. Very important: The exchange of data with the project and the database "WeSIS" planned by CRC 1342 is also welcomed. The exchange with the various departments is to be intensified in the future.

A first date will be the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ILO in June 2019. At the large symposium "Globalization and Social Justice: A Century of ILO Action, 1919 - 2019", which takes place at the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, project A03 will be represented with a contribution by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mückenberger.


Contact:
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
E-Mail: dingeldey@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mückenberger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Faculty of Law
Universitätsallee, GW1
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66218
E-Mail: mueckenb@uni-bremen.de

SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy seeks to employ two PhD fellows for the project "The Reciprocal Relationship of Public Opinion and Social Policy", starting from September 1st, 2019.

The German Science Foundation funded project "The Reciprocal Relationship of Public Opinion and Social Policy" under Principal Investigator (PI) Nate Breznau at the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen seeks to employ - under the condition of job release -

2 PhD Fellows
Salary level 13 TV-L (0,65)
Reference number A332/18

for a duration of three years, starting from September 1st, 2019 through August 31st, 2022.

Project description
Fellow "A" will focus on the macro-comparative part of the research and Fellow "B" will focus on the German case, see "Eligibility" for each fellowship below. Both Fellows will collectively contribute to the project and its output such as reports and publications, thus Fellows should be prepared to work in a team environment. Both Fellows are expected to develop academic research and writing skills, statistical analysis skills and attend and present findings at international conferences. English language fluency is necessary as the main project language is English. ore details and a project description are available here.

Concurrent to the project work, the Fellows will pursue their doctoral degrees at the University of Bremen as Affiliated with the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS). The Fellows will have about half of their weekly working time free for the pursuit of this goal. The topics of their dissertations are open; however, having topics related to the project is ideal.

Finally, Fellows should be aware that this project seeks to practice ethical and open science. Therefore, Fellows should be interested in data and code sharing, open access publications, developing shared workflows using online technologies (such as the Open Science Framework and GitHub), and a commitment to transparency in all of their work.

Fellow A - Macro-Comparative Focus. Eligibility
Candidates should have studied sociology or related social science disciplines and be interested in macro-comparative social policy. Ideally these candidates want to pursue a dissertation related to comparative welfare states, social policy and/or social inequality. Although this position will focus on the macro-comparative aspect of the project it also includes some work on the German case study, thus some knowledge of or willingness to learn the German language is desirable.

This Fellow will focus on collecting and analyzing cross-national comparative data. Primarily opinion data will come from the International Social Survey Program and the European Social Survey. Policy indicators will come from a variety of sources and the candidate will be expected to develop creative ways to measure policy and welfare states. This candidate must know or be willing to learn Stata or R, and to develop skills to implement multilevel statistical analysis. The ideal candidate will simultaneously pursue a dissertation topic in comparative welfare states or institutions, although this specific topic is not a strict requirement.

Fellow B - German Case-study Focus. Eligibility
Fellow B candidates should have studied political science or related social science disciplines and be interested in the political system of Germany. Given the project's inquiry into German politics, history and public opinion, candidates must be fluent in German with native German being ideal.

This Fellow will focus on analyzing the content of public opinion and policymakers' discussions throughout German history since 1945. In this process they will take responsibility for developing a database for later quantitative analysis. They will develop skills in qualitative content analysis for identifying the nature and direction of policy and opinion over time. The ideal candidate will simultaneously pursue a dissertation topic related to German politics, although this is not a strict requirement.

Hiring Considerations and Requirements
Application materials should include a Curriculum Vitae ("Lebenslauf"); a 1-2 page Cover Letter indicating why the candidate is interested in the position, why they think they are a good fit, what research skills they have, and an indication of what they might like to pursue as a dissertation topic; and a copy of the Master's Degree or a note indicating completion plans. Applicants must have completed a Master's Degree before Sept. 1st, 2019.

Applicants must be able to obtain a visa in case they are offered a position, please see visa requirements on the Federal Foreign Office website for more details.

Applications should be submitted as one combined Adobe pdf document no later than March 15th, 2019 to socium-bewerbungen@uni-bremen.de

Interviews will take place in April or May. Candidates from far away can interview via internet video conferencing if necessary.

For any other job-related inquiries please contact Nate Breznau, the PI, at nbreznau@uni-bremen.de

The University of Bremen has received a number of awards for its diversity policies and offers a family-friendly working environment as well as an international atmosphere.
The University is committed to a policy of providing equal employment opportunities for both men and women alike, and therefore encourages particularly women to apply for the position offered. Persons with disabilities will be considered preferentially in case of equal qualifications and aptitudes.
The University of Bremen explicitly invites persons with migration background to apply.

Mailing address:
SOCIUM Forschungszentrum Ungleichheit und Sozialpolitik
Universität Bremen / Bremen University
Postfach 33 04 40

The cost of application and presentation cannot be reimbursed.