Events of Project B02

07.11.2019 - 08.11.2019 Conference

Causal Mechanisms in the Analysis of Social Policy Dynamics

Teilprojekt B01: SFB 1342, Universität Bremen
Haus der Wissenschaft
Sandstraße 4/5
28195 Bremen
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Contact Person

Recent theoretical and methodological developments in the social sciences converge into the approach of "mechanism-based explanation". Originating from different disciplines such as analytical sociology, political sociology, comparative historical analysis and qualitative research in political science, mechanism-based approaches stress that phenomena cannot fully be explained by correlations between variables: Causal mechanisms are the "cogs and wheels" that scholars come across when opening the "black box" of correlations.

Despite the expanding literature on this topic, two deficits have not been resolved so far:

  1. There is no convincing compilation of mechanisms that drive social and political processes. Previous proposals for a comprehensive list of mechanisms collect elements of very different scales and levels. There is no shared understanding on what level (micro, meso, macro) mechanisms should be allocated and what elements a mechanism should have to count as a mechanism.
  2. There is also a lack of systematic applications of mechanism-based approaches to an entire policy field. So far, mechanism-based approaches have primarily been used in single case studies or comparative case studies with a limited scope and range. Adopting a mechanism-based approach for studying the transnational dynamics of an entire policy field might be a decisive test for the fruitfulness of mechanism-based approaches.

This conference aims to stimulate discussion on the characteristics of causal mechanisms, and to establish a closer link between these concepts and the study of social policy dynamics.

Confirmed speakers so far:
Renate Mayntz (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies)
James Mahoney (Northwestern University)
Peter Starke (University of Southern Denmark)

Download: Call for Papers

Unicom Building
Room: 7.1020
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
9:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

SocialPoliciesandtheMedia.jpg (2.61 MB)

09:15-09:30 Welcome
Delia González de Reufels

09:30-09:50 Promoting the ‚Model Country‘: The Visualization of Uruguayan Public Assistance Policies in the República Batllista (1903-1932)
Teresa Huhle
09:50-10:15 Discussion

10:15-10:35 Working for a Healthy and Modern Nation: The Chilean Instituto de Higiene and the Official Photo Book of 1910
Delia González de Reufels
10:35-11:00 Discussion

11:00-11:20 Coffee Break

11:20-11:40 Social Policy for Productivity. The Figure of the Worker in the Visual Propaganda of Fascist Italy and Peronist Argentina (1922-1955)
Katharina Schembs
11:40-12:05 Discussion

12:05-12:25 For a Healthy and Hygienic Post-Revolutionary Citizen. Cinema and Hygienic Education in Mexico from the 1920s to 1940s
María Rosa Gudiño Cejudo
12:25-12:50 Discussion

13:00-14:30 Lunch Break and Coffee

14:30-14:50 Film as Instrument of Social Enquiry. The British Documentary Film Movement in the Late 1930s
Christine Rüffert
14:50-15:15 Discussion

15:15-15:35 "In Any Case, the Fees Are the Same for All": Physicians and the Welfare State in Early French TV Broadcasts
Joël Danet
15:35-16:00 Discussion

16:00-16:15 Coffee Break

16:15-17:00 Concluding Remarks and Final Discussion
Delia González de Reufels

14.11.2018 Workshop

The Global History of the New Deal

Prof. Dr. Kiran Klaus Patel (Maastricht University)
Unicom Building
Room: 3.3380
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Sonderforschungsbereich 1342 "Globale Entwicklungsdynamiken von Sozialpolitik", Universität Bremen

The historian Kiran Klaus Patel from the University of Maastricht presents his current book "The New Deal. A Global History". In preparation, the participants read parts of the book to discuss them with Kiran Klaus Patel in the workshop. The passages to be discussed and the guiding questions will be communicated in advance.

Registration: The number of places in this workshop are restricted. Please register by sending a short email to Prof. Dr. Delia González de Reufels at