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Dr. Helen Seitzer
Dr. Helen Seitzer
Supported by the grant, Seitzer will develop an automated method to extract info on bibliographies & citations from documents. This will help Seitzer analyse where IOs draw their expert knowledge from.

Helen Seitzer will receive seed funding from the Data Science Center (DSC) at the University of Bremen from 1 June 2022 to 31 December 2022. The seed funding will support her research project "The origins of expertise: Where does IO-knowledge originate from?", in which Seitzer investigates the origins of expertise from international organisations dealing with education. For this work, hundreds to thousands of text documents have to be analysed. To speed up this process, Seitzer is developing an automated text analysis procedure to extract information on bibliographies and citations from PDF files. Seitzer will initially apply this procedure to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but it should then be transferable to other organisations and thus enable comparisons.
Seitzer's work is concerned with examining more closely the hitherto generally accepted expert status of international organisations in the field of education and education reforms. Specifically, the aim is to determine the source of expertise of these influential organisations. Do they use results from current research or do they repeatedly refer to research results from their own ranks? Or do they use only few central documents? This research is linked to the CRC project A05 The Global Development of Coverage and Generosity in Public Education, directed by Kerstin Martens and Michael Windzio.

The DSC Seed Grant

The DSC Seed Grant is designed to strengthen the collaboration of working groups from different faculties of the University of Bremen and thus to lay the foundation for interdisciplinary research projects in the context of data science. The overall goal of the DSC Seed Grant is to promote excellent research in the field of data science. The amount of the grant is up to EUR 2,500 per applicant.


Contact:
Dr. Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57065
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

The professor of German and transnational social policy talks about the role of social welfare systems in global crises, the transfer of ideas and knowledge across borders and from science to politics.

Alexandra Kaasch is a professor at Bielefeld University and a member of CRC 1342 since the beginning of the year: together with Kerstin Martens and Ewa Kaminska-Visser, she directs project B12 Crisis Management in the Covid 19 Pandemic by International Organisations.

In the podcast, which was created in the context of CRC 1288 "Praktiken des Vergleichens" ("Practices of Comparison"), Kaasch explains the questions they are pursuing in their research project: "We are investigating what recommendations international organisations give to similar countries in different parts of the world with regard to the Corona pandemic and its consequences. We are interested in: Does the social aspect that we see in global discourses also translate regionally in the attempts to deal with the crisis and the respective problem situations? We also compare international organisations with each other. Do they recommend the same things? What are their priorities? Where do they differ, where do they argue? And how do they organise their cooperation with the states?"

With regard to Germany, Kaasch notes that social policy spending is higher than ever before. " With regard to public finances and the labour market, it makes perfect sense to invest in social measures for a certain period of time during an economic crisis in order to have a stable situation after the crisis. In this way, Germany remains close to full employment. However, the growing mountain of debt that has to be paid back by an ageing population has to be set off against this. The question is: up to what point is the equation still positive? "With Corona, I think we will get to the point [and ask]: how much longer can we afford this, is it still possible now?"

According to Kaasch, crises like the Corona pandemic and its further aftermath can be used to identify previously hidden weaknesses in political (welfare) systems in order to eliminate them in the aftermath of the crisis: "building back better", as Kaasch calls it. "One example is teaching at universities. We had the tried and tested teaching model before the pandemic [almost exclusively face-to-face teaching], we see the adaptation in the crisis [almost exclusively digital teaching], and there is a desire to combine both into better teaching in the future." It is still necessary to clarify exactly what this should look like and how we can recognise what is actually best. But the situation shows that there is some truth in the often-used phrase "crises provide opportunities". "Because in crises we learn something about the vulnerability of existing systems and groups."

You can find the entire podcast (in German) here:
Praktisch Theoretisch #35: "Strong health systems help in every crisis" - from the economic to the Corona Crisis


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Alexandra Kaasch
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Faculty of Sociology
Universitätsstraße 24
33615 Bielefeld
Phone: +49 521 106-2427
E-Mail: alexandra.kaasch@uni-bielefeld.de

The seventh volume of the Palgrave Macmillan series "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" highlights in 39 essays how inter- and transnational influences have affected social policy in a wide range of countries around the world.

The edited volume "International Impacts on Social Policy - Short Histories in Global Perspective" was published by Frank Nullmeier, Delia González de Reufels and Herbert Obinger and illustrates the importance of inter- and transnational influences for the development of public social policy worldwide. The book consists of 39 case studies that are divided into four sections analysing the importance of (1) violence, (2) international organisations, (3) trade relations and economic crises, and (4) ideas, networks of experts and migration. The contributions illustrate important parts of the results produced by the CRC 1342 and its 15 projects in the period from 2018 to 2021.

Like the entire Global Dynamics of Social Policy series, this volume is published in open access format to make the research results of the CRC 1342 easily accessible to the scientific community in all parts of the world.

The entire volume as well as the individual contributions can be downloaded free of charge from the Palgrave Macmillan/Springer website:

Frank Nullmeier, Delia González de Reufels, Herbert Obinger (eds.)(2022): International Impacts on Social Policy - Short Histories in Global Perspective, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.


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. Frank Nullmeier
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58576
E-Mail: frank.nullmeier@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

Simone Tonelli
Simone Tonelli
The political scientist wrote his doctoral thesis in project A06 on the diffusion of family policy programmes, including in East and Southeast Asia.

Simone Tonelli successfully defended his PhD thesis "The Politics of Family Policy in a Global Perspective" on Monday, 24 January 2022. The defence took place in a hybrid format: Tonelli presented his work in Bremen in front of the 7-member examination committee, while the audience was able to follow the presentation and subsequent discussion via video conference.

Simone Tonelli has been a member of the CRC 1342 since 2018 and earned his PhD in project A06 Formation and Diffusion of Family Policy in a Global Perspective, which was completed at the end of 2021. His cumulative doctoral thesis is based on the following articles, among others:

Tonelli, Simone, 2022: What Curbs Social Investment? The Effect of Foreign Electoral Outcomes on Childcare Expenditure Levels, in: Journal of Social Policy, First View , pp. 1 - 21.

Simone Tonelli has been a member of the CRC 1342 since 2018 and did his PhD in the project A06 Formation and Diffusion of Family Policy in a Global Perspective, which was completed at the end of 2021. His cumulative doctoral thesis is based on the following essays, among others:

Tonelli, Simone; Drobnič, Sonja; Huinink, Johannes, 2021: Child-related family policies in East and Southeast Asia: An intra-regional comparison, in: International Journal of Social Welfare, 30 (4), S. 385 – 395.

Böger, Tobias; Son, Keonhi; Tonelli, Simone, 2022: Origins of Family Policy: Prerequisites or Diffusion, in: Windzio, Michael; Mossig, Ivo; Besche-Truthe, Fabian; Seitzer, Helen (Hg.), Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 169 - 193.


Contact:
Simone Tonelli
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58540
E-Mail: si_to@uni-bremen.de

Simon Gerards Iglesias
Simon Gerards Iglesias
Building on his dissertation in the completed project B02, the historian talks about the suppression of the workers' protests in Argentina at the beginning of 1919 and the founding of the ILO shortly afterwards.

The Institute of Historical Studies at the University of Bremen has launched its own podcast. In the interview series, which former CRC member Simon Gerards Iglesias was instrumental in developing, members of the Institute's staff talk about relevant and at the same time illustrative areas of their research work.

Gerards Iglesias himself is the first guest in the series: In a conversation with Institute Managing Director Imke Sturm-Martin, he sheds light on how the workers' protests in Argentina, which were violently suppressed in early 1919, are connected to the founding of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shortly afterwards and what role the ILO subsequently played in the development of Argentine social policy.

The podcast: Aufstand transnational - Was Argentiniens wütende Arbeiter mit Genfer Gesetzen zu tun hatten

Simon Gerards Iglesias is an economic and social historian researching the history of Latin America at the University of Bremen. He was a member of SFB 1342 from 2019 to the end of 2021, where he conducted research in the now completed project B02 Emergence, Expansion, and Transformation of the Welfare State in the Cono Sur in Exchange with (Southern) Europe (1850–1990). His dissertation deals with transnational history and the relationship between Argentina and the International Labour Organisation.


Contact:
Simon Gerards Iglesias
In his monograph, the geographer analyses the dynamics of inter-state export relations between 1995 and 2018. In addition to a main core of the largest economies, Lischka identifies sub-centres in the Global South.

Michael Lischka's work is entitled "Dynamiken Transnationaler Interdependenzen – Veränderungen der Integration von Nationalstaaten im globalen Exportnetzwerk zwischen 1995 und 2018 und deren Bedeutung als politisches Machtpotenzial". In it, Lischka examined the changes in relevant inter-state export linkages.

In his macro-quantitative work, Lischka combines approaches from economic geography and political science. This operationalises inter-state interdependencies as cross-border flows of particular mutual importance. This enables a relational perspective on inter-state linkages, allowing them to be captured and analysed using methods of social network analysis.

Central results of the work are:

  • Global interdependence levels have grown steadily from 1995 to 2018.
  • Today's export network shows an import-heavy core and an import-weak periphery, if the similarity aspect 'importance as a sales market' is considered alone. The core consists mainly of the established industrialised countries and emerging economies. The periphery consists increasingly of countries with lower economic indicators.
  • The core-periphery dichotomy is based on highly divergent development patterns among the nation states.
  • If, instead of economic similarity indicators, the focus is on the interdependence of the states, a spatially differentiated multi-core structure emerges, consisting of a main core of the largest economies and a heterogeneous periphery with different groups of countries, each of which forms centres with a particular local density, i.e. they are more strongly interconnected than with the core.
  • On the one hand, the multi-core structure speaks for an existing economic North-South divide in the world economy. On the other hand, it highlights the importance of South-South linkages and thus enables a perspective beyond the popular core-periphery dichotomy.
  • Mainstream foreign trade theories cannot adequately explain the emergence of economic interdependencies, as they only focus on the monetary output of the complex interdependence structures and not on the interdependencies themselves. These are impressively demonstrated in the present network analysis.


Lischka_Abbildung.jpg (226 KB)

Figure: Network of above-average reciprocal export links that are constant over 24 years (1995-2018).

The examination committee consisted of: Ivo Mossig, Michael Flitner, Herbert Obinger, Julia Lossau, Gabriela Carolina Molina León, Daniel Schuster.


Contact:
Michael Lischka
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57061
E-Mail: lischka@uni-bremen.de

In a joint edited volume the quantitative projects of CRC 1342 investigate if and how the global diffusion of a wide range of social policy programmes occurs through different network dimensions.

"Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies", edited by Michael Windzio, Ivo Mossig, Fabian Besche-Truthe, and Helen Seitzer, is the CRC 1342’s sixth volume in the Global Dynamics of Social Policy series published with Palgrave Macmillan. On 272 pages the authors analyse the introduction of a wide range of social policy programmes – work-injury insurance, compulsory education, basis adult education, public health care, public long-term care, family policy, and antidiscrimination legislation. They use data reaching back as far as 1880 and look for the influence of global networks on the diffusion of these policies. In this perspective, networks of global trade, colonial history, similarity in culture, and spatial proximity are regarded as "pipe structures," or structural backbones, of the diffusion process.

The overall findings reveal that the importance of international linkages captured by different network types is not homogeneous across the social policies examined. "The findings suggest that spatial proximity is the most relevant network in this regard," Carina Schmitt and Herbert Obinger write in their summary of book. "Geographical proximity implies strong international linkages in many respects such as cross-border migration, cultural ties, and trade relations. Moreover, all these linkages are indicative of intensive cross-border communication, which is widely seen as a main prerequisite for policy diffusion." Interestingly, neither colonial ties nor trade relations have been identified as important explanatory factors.

All chapters of this book also looked at the most important domestic factors that have contributed to the introduction of the respective social policy programmes, since only the interplay between international interdependencies and national factors explains the adoption and spread of social policies.

Below you can find a brief summary of the findings for the individual social policy programmes

Work-Injury Programmes

Nate Breznau and Felix Lanver have identified state formation and democratization processes as key driving factors for the introduction of work injury programmes. Spatial proximity and ties in the trade network also have a positive but smaller effect.

Compulsory Education

Helen Seitzer, Fabian Besche-Truthe, and Michael Windzio found that the cultural similarity network was consistently significant in the diffusion of compulsory education. Colonial legacies and trade networks on the other hand did not show significant results. "Research on education policy diffusion should not ignore economic factors”, the authors write, "but should include cultural factors in addition to the 'usual suspects'."

Adult Basic Education

Cultural similarity has no robust influence in the case of ABE, Fabian Besche-Truthe writes. "All the results lead me to believe in a diffusion process that might not be fully erratic but is also not structured through interdependencies between countries," he interprets his data.

Healthcare Systems

Trade networks cannot explain policy diffusion in this case, Alexander Polte, Sebastian Haunss, Achim Schmid, Gabriela de Carvalho, and Heinz Rothgang conclude. Nor do the links created through cultural similarity and colonial ties offer a universal explanation of healthcare system introduction. "Based on our knowledge of healthcare systems around the world, we actually assume that it is more likely the type than the timing of the system introduction that is influenced through transnational policy diffusion networks," the author team writes. The introduction of healthcare systems mainly occurred in economically prosperous countries before WWII, the effect of GDP decreases in subsequent periods. In addition, the effect of spatial proximity decreases over time, whereas the effect of trade networks seems to increase.

Long-Term Care Systems

Johanna Fischer, Alexander Polte, and Meika Sternkopf have identified several factors which advance the introduction of LTC systems – noting that we are still witnessing the early phase of diffusion in this social policy field. Aside from geographic proximity, there seems to be no horizontal diffusion via networks. Rather, the introduction of long-term care systems depends on problem pressure (population 75+), political empowerment of women, GDP per capita, and levels of democratization.

Family Policy

Paid maternity leave is confirmed as a showcase for the agenda-setting power of the ILO. Colonial and other imperial relations, Tobias Böger, Keonhi Son, and Simone Tonelli have found, play an important role in the origin of other family policies outside of Western Europe, e.g. the introduction of workplace childcare facilities. Family allowances are spurred by low fertility rates. 

Antidiscrimination Legislation in Employment and Occupation

With the exception of the geographical proximity network, the networks examined by Jenny Hahs do not play a significant role as a pipeline for diffusion. "The influence of ILO membership slows down the effect of ratification more than it supports it," Hahs concludes. "Surprisingly, the influence of the national de jure status of antidiscrimination rights is completely irrelevant. This supports a decoupling of transnational and national regulation in the field of antidiscrimination rights."

Workplace Antidiscrimination Regulations for the LGBTQ+ Community

Domestic factors, mainly the democratization index and the gender equality index have a very strong positive impact on the introduction of antidiscrimination regulations, Helen Seitzer writes in her contribution. "The most interesting result of the analysis is the negative effect of the cultural spheres network. Countries sharing cultural characteristics do not cause contagion, in contrast, it slows the diffusion down. However, this might be the case for only some countries."

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Windzio, Michael; Mossig, Ivo; Besche-Truthe, Fabian; Seitzer, Helen (Hg.), 2022: Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, doi:10.1007%2F978-3-030-83403-6


Contact:
Dr. Fabian Besche-Truthe
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57066
E-Mail: fbesche@uni-bremen.de

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

Dr. Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57065
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

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

Photo: AdobeStock/nosyrevy
Photo: AdobeStock/nosyrevy
The German Research Foundation extends the funding of the CRC 1342 for another four years until the end of 2025. The total funding volume is close to 15 million euros

The Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Development Dynamics of Social Policy", led by the University of Bremen, can carry on with its research. The Grants Committee for Collaborative Research Centres of the German Research Foundation (DFG) has decided on 24 November to fund the CRC 1342 for another four years with a total of almost 15 million euros. The second funding phase will begin on 1 January 2022.

In addition to the SOCIUM as the core institute, other research institutes of the University of Bremen, Jacobs University Bremen, the University of Bielefeld and the University of Duisburg-Essen are involved in the Collaborative Research Centre 1342, which started in early 2018. In 15 projects, about 70 researchers from the disciplines of political science, sociology, history, geography, law and computer science are studying the worldwide developments of public social policy. The countries of the Global South are systematically taken into account.

Core question: Who is benefiting from social protection and to what extent?

So far, the CRC 1342 has focused on analysing the national, international and transnational impact mechanisms that have decisively influenced the introduction of social security systems and their design worldwide. "The core task over the next four years will now be to investigate the coverage and generosity of public social policy. In short, the question is: Who benefits from social protection and to what extent?", explains Herbert Obinger, spokesperson of the CRC 1342.

The CRC 1342 will consist of two project areas in the second funding phase: The six projects of Area A examine the dynamics of various social policy domains in a global and historical perspective; macro-quantitative analyses will be supplemented by individual case studies. The eight projects in Area B conduct case studies and comparisons for selected countries/regions and specific social protection programmes; the focus is on qualitative studies complemented by quantitative analyses.

In an information infrastructure project, the Global Welfare State Information System (WeSIS) will be developed further. As in funding phase one, all research data collected will be fed into the web-based, interactive information system. WeSIS is expected to be released to the public in 2024. Then research institutions and the general public worldwide will be able to use all data stored in WeSIS at no charge for non-commercial purposes.

The participating research institutes and facilities at a glance

  • SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, University of Bremen
  • Institute for Intercultural & International Studies (InIIS), University of Bremen
  • Research Group Information Management at the Faculty of Computer Science, University of Bremen
  • Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen
  • Institute for Labour and the Economy, University of Bremen/Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen
  • Institute of Geography, University of Bremen
  • Institute of History, University of Bremen
  • Centre of European Law and Politics, University of Bremen
  • China Global. Center for the Study of China and Globalization, Jacobs University Bremen
  • Institute for Social Work and Social Policy, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University

Contact:
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

Johanna Fischer
Johanna Fischer
Fischer has studied the development of social policy in the field of long-term care both in a comparative and conceptual perspective.

Johanna Fischer is working in project A04 "Global Developments in Health Systems and Long-Term Care as a New Social Risk" and has written her doctoral thesis entitled "The Emergence of Social Policy in the Field of Long-term Care. A Comparative Analysis of the Introduction and Types of Long-term Care Systems in a Global Perspective".

Her work is based on three papers:


Johanna Fischer's work includes the first comprehensive comparative study on the introduction of long-term care systems worldwide and the development of a multi-dimensional, actor-centred typology of long-term care systems. Based on this, she has presented a systematic international comparison of long-term care systems and especially of social insurance-based long-term care systems.


Contact:
Dr. Johanna Fischer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57074
E-Mail: johanna.fischer@uni-bremen.de

Recent GLOBED graduate Cherine Sabry, co-supervised by CRC member Kerstin Martens, presents her findings at AEMS 2021 symposium at Indiana University.

Cherine Sabry has recently graduated from the GLOBED (Global Education Policies for Development) Masters programme, jointly offered by the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain), Universität Bremen (Germany) and the University of Cyprus. She has written her thesis (2nd supervisor Kerstin Martens of CRC 1342 project A05) on regional education organisations in the Arab world, focusing on the case of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).

She presents her findings today at the 2021 Virtual Symposium on Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS). She reveals new insights regarding the role that regional organisations play in the design of education policy in the Arab and Muslim world, and how these policies are shaped by the interaction between regional and global IOs. Using a post-colonial framework for the analysis, Sabry has analysed ALESCO’s publications and publications by its partner organisations. The data was complemented by interviews with current and former ALECSO staff.

In her analysis Sabry found that the ALECSO is unmoored between two trends that pull it in different directions – on the one hand ALECSO aims to counter Western hegemony in the region and to promote and preserve the Arab culture and language; on the other hand the undeniable dominance of certain global IOs influence ALECSO’s work, so that it emulates global IOs, e.g. in using global guidelines and criteria to measure educational quality. This inconsistent strategy, combined with the lack of qualified staff, Sabry found, leads to a decline of the role ALECSO is playing in shaping education policy in the Arab world.

You can download a video of Cherine Sabry’s presentation that has been recorded previously: Regional Education Organizations in the Arab World


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67498
E-Mail: martensk@uni-bremen.de

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