Project A06

Formation and diffusion of family policy in a global perspective

The family continues to be not only to be responsible for the biological but also the social reproduction, and it is an important welfare producer. Therefore, the state has a genuine interest in families' functionality. This is reflected by regulations and policies to support families and their members. However, depending on the socio-economic, political and cultural framework in individual countries, such measures vary considerably and may be based on different concepts of family. In addition to explicit family policy measures, more general social policy measures are often also relevant for families if they improve the living conditions and capabilities of families ("implicit family policy"). Family and social policy are therefore closely related.

Objective 1: In this project we will first assess the development of national, explicit family policies on a global scale. While we have access, with certain exceptions, to numerous documentation for the OECD countries, we first have to collect the relevant information for the countries of the non-OECD world as systematically and completely as possible. We provide the relevant information to the CRC's central database - the Global Welfare State Information System (WeSIS).

Objective 2: Then typical profiles of family policy dynamics are identified and documented with reference to historical changes of political, socio-economic and demographic frameworks as well as to the changing role of the family as a welfare producer and to the change of the prevailing gender regime in the countries being surveyed. We distinguish between structural and cultural aspects of the framework of family policy.

Objective 3: Finally, we examine the importance of international dissemination processes for national family policy dynamics. A first analytical strand investigates whether and how the given national contexts promote or hinder the diffusion of family policy measures between states, and which role horizontal interdependencies between countries play in this process (Goal 3a). In a second strand of the analysis, we examine the role of activities of international organisations and international non-governmental organisations and the standards and programmes they have introduced in the diffusion of family policy measures (Objective 3b).

In the second phase of the CRC we examine the dimensions of generosity and the degree of inclusion of family policy benefit more in depth. In addition, for a smaller number of specifically selected countries from different regions of the non-OECD world with different cultural traditions the dynamics of family policy will be examined with a focus on international transmission.