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.

Tasks include coding documents of international organisations, literature research and preparation of publications. The working hours are approximately 35 hours per month.

The project A05 is headed by Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens and Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio and is a part of the Collaborative Research Centre 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”. In the project, we study the global diffusion of education policies and how international organizations active in education view coverage and generosity for specific groups. For more information please see:

Your tasks include the coding of documents of international organizations, literature research, and assistance in preparing manuscripts for publication

Working hours:

up to 35 hours per month

Start date:    

October 2022
The position is limited to 6 months, but longer-term employment is desired.

Application deadline:


15. July 2022



What we expect:

basic knowledge of social science research, very good English proficiency (additional language skills would be an asset), general interest in international organizations, education policy, and qualitative research methods

What we offer:

participation in up-to-date research, insights in social science research processes, flexible working hours, a good team spirit

Please send your applications including a short statement of interest and your CV to             Dr. Dennis Niemann (

Dr. Dennis Niemann
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67473

The B12 team
The B12 team
The team, located in Bremen and Bielefeld, is investigating the activities of international organizations during the Covid 19 pandemic. In Bremen, the members reported on initial research results and discussed analytical methodologies.

Project B12 Crisis Management in the Covid 19 Pandemic by International Organizations is led by Alexandra Kaasch (University of Bielefeld), Monika Ewa Kaminska and Kerstin Martens (both University of Bremen). Since June 1, all positions (two 50 % postdoc and two PhD positions) have been filled, so that the entire team was able to meet for the first time in person. The first task was to take stock of initial research on the question: What is the focus of the relevant IOs in the areas of health, labor market and social security? In addition, the team has started to think conceptually about how to operationalize and make measurable the coverage and generosity of services in relation to the impact of IOs.

The B12 team typically meets fortnightly in vodeoconferences. The next face-to-face meeting is planned for September in Bielefeld.

What social policies did Eastern and Western Europe pursue during the Cold War? What influence had the competition between the systems? How did the transformation phase proceed from 1989 onwards? These were questions addressed at the 4th Hermann Weber Con

For the West, the communist welfare state represented a central challenge in the competition of systems. In the competition of systems, socio-political superiority was also supposed to be demonstrated. The end of the Cold War and the end of the pressure to legitimise against the other system were in turn reasons for the welfare state reforms in the 1990s and 2000s in East and West, which were also discussed at the conference.

Six CRC 1342 researchers took part in the conference:

  • Herbert Obinger explained the basics of the relationship between the Cold War, communism and social policy
  • Carina Schmitt and Maria Ignatova-Pfarr gave a presentation on Bulgaria's pension policy during the Cold War
  • Delia González des Reufels gave a presentation on the social policy of the last Chilean military dictatorship during the Cold War
  • Cornalius Torp gave a presentation on pension policy in East and West Germany during the Cold War
  • Lukas Grawe gave a presentation on the legitimisation of pronatalist family policy in the GDR.

The 4th Hermann Weber Conference took place in Berlin from 8 to 10 June 2022. The organisers were the research group "The 'activating welfare state' - a political and social history of German social policy, 1979-2017" at the SOCIUM of the University of Bremen, funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung. The conference was financially supported by the Gerda-und-Hermann-Weber-Stiftung.

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

Dr. Lukas Grawe
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58642

Maria Ignatova-Pfarr
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57057

Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58567

Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt
Feldkirchenstraße 21
96045 Bamberg
Phone: 0951-863 2734

Prof. Dr. Cornelius Torp
The tasks include data and literature research as well as classification, annotation and coding of documents. Working hours up to 37 hours per month.

At the University of Bremen, the following positions are available in the Collaborative Research Centre 1342's project "Global developments in health care systems":

Student Assistants with up to 37 hrs/month

Start date: As soon as possible. The position is temporary, but a longer-term employment is intended.

The project is a part of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" and is directed by Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Haunss and Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter.

The aim of the project is to map the historical development of the inclusiveness and the scope of benefits of health care systems worldwide. In doing so, we develop an AI supported system to facilitate the classification and annotation of a large corpus of documents.


  • Database and literature research
  • Supporting the systematic classification of documents
  • Supporting the annotation / coding of documents
  • Supporting on administrative tasks


  • Enrolled in a German University
  • Excellent command of English
  • Knowledge of French is particularly welcome
  • Experience in literature research
  • Independent, reliable and organised working style
  • Interest in social policy, health policy and/or health inequality


  • Experience with reference management software, especially Zotero
  • Experience in annotation / coding of text documents
  • Interest in natural language processing and application of artificial intelligence

Deadline for application: Rolling basis until positions are filled.

Please send applications with CV and short letter of motivation to Gabriela de Carvalho (

Dr. Gabriela de Carvalho
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57078

Migyeong Yun
Migyeong Yun
Migyeong has joined project A07 recently where she will be studying the different paths that South Korea and Taiwan have taken with their long-termn care policies.

You have been working at CRC since the beginning of April. Have you settled well in Bremen?

I like this peaceful city. Particularly, I feel grateful for getting to know friendly people. They helped me with many things like finding a room and city registration. Thanks to them, I have settled well in Bremen so far.

What have you done before?

I studied for a bachelor's and master's degree in sociology in Seoul. During my master's programme, I focused on social policy and researched the development of long-term care insurance in South Korea for a master's thesis. Because I had longed to be an expert in welfare policy for the elderly since I was a high school student, it was a meaningful step to enhance my knowledge in that area.

What motivated you to apply to the CRC in Bremen?

While researching for my master's thesis, I employed policy diffusion as a theoretical resource. During the literature review, I found out that the CRC is one of the leading groups in policy diffusion research. My Korean advisory professor, who had studied at the University of Bremen, also highly recommended studying at the SOCIUM. After looking into its homepage and the ongoing research, I thought it fits me well. 

You are now working in project A07 which is dedicated to studying long-term care policies. What was it that made you get so involved in this social policy field?

I have been interested in policies related to elderly welfare because elderly poverty is a severe issue in South Korea. Initially, I wanted to study income maintenance in old age. As I got to know that long-term care insurance had been introduced in 2007, however, I began to have an interest in long-term care as well. I thought that not only income transfer but also care service is an essential element for maintaining dignity in old age. Furthermore, the Korean case was interesting to me. That was why I chose to research the development of long-term care insurance in Korea for my master's thesis and keep studying long-term care.

What are your plans for your doctoral thesis?

I want to study the diverging paths of the long-term care systems in Korea and Taiwan. While South Korea has introduced long-term care insurance in 2007, the government of Taiwan discarded the plan for a similar system right before legislating a relevant act. I would like to investigate whether policy learning played a role in the two cases and, if so, why policy learning had these different outcomes.

Migyeong Yun
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58637

Heiner Salomon
Heiner Salomon
Heiner is doing his PhD in project A02 and will mainly work on a case study on social security in Bangladesh. Previously, he has done research on poverty and social protection at ODI in London.

You didn't follow the classic path of starting your PhD directly after your studies, but you worked for many years as a "practitioner" instead. What did your journey look like in detail?

I had always considered the idea of doing my PhD at some point. However, my professors had recommended that I first gain work experience. So that's what I did. I started with an internship at the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), then I worked as a consultant for GIZ and ODI in London. After that, I joined GIZ's trainee programme. This gave me the opportunity to witness GIZ's work abroad: I had a job in Bangladesh helping to set up an occupational health insurance scheme in the garment sector. I then spent three months at the World Bank and three months at the BMZ in Berlin. After that, I went back to Bangladesh, where I worked as a consultant for some time. Afterwards, I got a permanent position at Development Pathways in London working on social protection globally. I mainly conducted quantitative analyses on universal basic social protection in countries of the Global South. Most recently, I was a researcher at ODI working on poverty and social protection.

Did you have a regional focus at ODI, as you did at GIZ with South Asia?

No, the projects were spread all over the world. But I very much wanted to work in South Asia again. That's why the position at the CRC was so appealing, because there is a focus on Bangladesh in my project. I think it makes sense to work on developing an understanding of a country and a region when working in a global context. For expertise that is relevant regionally and politically, it is important to deepen one’s knowledge of the social context, political structures as well as important historical events. This is particularly relevant in social policy: everything about social policy is highly political, because it involves questions of distribution and large sums of money. Therefore, I think a certain understanding of local political conditions is very important.

Why did you make the decision to return to university at this particular time?

At ODI, I could test whether I like working in science - which was the case. On the other hand, the pandemic certainly played its part in the decision: I had a lot of time to think and during the home office phase I noticed that it was less difficult for me than I had thought to work alone on a project for a long time. And since the PhD had been an option for some time, I came to the point: either do it now never.

Why did you decide to come to Bremen?

I wanted to write my PhD at an institute where there are many others working on similar topics, because I am keen to exchange with fellow researchers, because it is motivating and makes research more exciting. And you don't find that in many places in my field. Moreover, in Bremen, the conditions for PhD students in a position like mine are pretty good. In addition, there is the BIGSSS, which provides a certain structure and institutional exchange between PhD students and allows us to take courses. Above all, my position combines (almost) everything that interests me most - microeconomics, social security, Bangladesh. It really is a great combination.

Project A02 examines three social policy fields and also includes a case study. What will be the focus of your work?

My tasks are not yet set in stone, but it looks like I will prepare and conduct the case study in Bangladesh. Together with our colleagues in Bangladesh, we will first prepare the intervention: What exactly should it look like and how can we measure its impact? I will prepare and conduct the data collection and then analyse the data together with the team.

Beyond that, I guess time will tell. Employment injury insurance is another topic of the project, which I have also worked on in Bangladesh. When I was there, this was a new discussion among the international partners. Among others, GIZ had set up a project on this issue in Bangladesh.

Was that in the wake of the major accident at the Rana Plaza garment factory in 2013?

Exactly. Employment injury insurance is the first social protection programme to be introduced in many countries. They are quite easy to implement and also in the employers' interest. Moreover, the state does not have to invest much at all. This makes them the prototype of social protection programmes in many cases. Work accident insurance then serves as a vehicle to build other programmes on. Hence, this is also a very exciting issue.

Do you already have a topic in mind for your PhD thesis?

Yes, but I still have to adapt it a bit to make it fit into the project research. The basic idea is this: How are the preferences of the population in the Global South related to the introduction of new social policy programmes? There is a lot of discussion at the international level about how much targeting should take place in social policy, how universal programmes should be. Most of the time, the discussions are very theoretical. What is not taken into account enough - in my view - are the preferences of the people in the countries where the programmes have been or are to be introduced. For this purpose, I would like to use the World Value Survey, which includes two questions on redistribution.

After finishing your doctorate, will you work as a practitioner or will you stay in academia?

I don't know yet. Working as a practitioner - in terms of "policy making" in a ministry or in GIZ - probably not. But which specific organisation it will be is not that important to me anyway. I would rather see myself as a link between politics and science, because I am very interested in both fields and there is often friction between the two. There is a lack of people who are able to connect science and politics and vice versa. Whether I take on this role in science or in politics, that remains to be seen.

Heiner Salomon
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58649

In "Causal Mechanisms in the Global Development of Social Policies" Johanna Kuhlmann and Frank Nullmeier present a novel, modular approach to explaining developments in social policy.

Causal Mechanisms in the Global Development of Social Policies, edited by Johanna Kuhlmann and Frank Nullmeier, is the eighth volume in the Global Dynamics of Social Policy series. The series is funded by CRC 1342 and edited by Lorraine Frisina Doetter, Delia González de Reufels, Kerstin Martens and Marianne Sandvad Ulriksen.

The new volume on causal mechanisms summarises key results of Project Area B from the first funding phase of CRC 1342: From 2018 to 2021, nine projects conducted case studies and qualitative analyses to investigate the interplay of international linkages with local conditions and the resulting social policy dynamics in countries, groups of countries and major world regions.

In doing so, Project Area B has developed the concept of causal mechanisms, which enables explanations of social policy developments that can complement, deepen and in some cases even correct the established approaches of research.

Mechanisms and "process tracing" are not new in political science. However, Kuhlmann and Nullmeier present a modular approach to causal mechanisms that combines 1) elementary causal mechanisms at the level of individual and collective actors with 2) complex causal mechanisms consisting of a sequence of activities that can in turn be explained by elementary causal mechanisms.

"[B]y distinguishing between elementary and complex causal mechanisms, policy processes can be disentangled into individual steps and sequences that lead to a certain effect, which can thus be analysed in more detail," Kuhlmann and Nullmeier write in the introductory chapter of their book.

By combining process and actor orientation as well as modularisation, the concept of causal mechanisms opens up new perspectives for the entire field of social policy research, both in macro-quantitative, comparative social policy research and in case study-centred work on individual countries or social policy programmes.

The individual chapters of the edited volume analyse social policy in very different countries around the globe in both individual and comparative case studies. The volume is divided into four parts dealing with social policy in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. In addition, the chapters cover various areas of social policy, including old-age provision, health, unemployment, occupational injury, long-term care and social assistance.


Causal Mechanisms in the Global Development of Social Policies is part of the Global Dynamics of Social Policy series, published by Palgrave Macmillan. All volumes are available for free download (open access).

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

Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58576

Sooahn Meier
Sooahn Meier
Sooahn has been working in project B12 for about two weeks. In this interview, she tells us how she came to Bremen from Seoul via Berlin and what she has planned for her doctoral thesis.

Dear Sooahn, you've been in Bremen for just under two weeks, welcome to CRC 1342! Where were you the years before and what did you do during that time?

I did my bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in North Korean studies in Seoul. Afterwards, I studied International Relations in Berlin in a joint Masters programme of the Freie Universität, the Humboldt-Universität and the University of Potsdam. That was very cool, three universities at once! I got to know a lot of different people and learned a lot about the different structures of the universities.

Was the programme designed to last one or two years?

Two years. You had to collect half of the credit points in English, the others in any other language. That made the programme very international, with many students from different countries.

Why had you decided to do a Master's programme in Germany?

During my Bachelor's programme in Seoul, I did three semesters abroad in Germany: in Trier, in Chemnitz and in Berlin. I liked Berlin the most. After my Bachelor's degree, I wasn't sure whether I should continue my studies. So I did an internship at the South Korean General Consulate in Frankfurt and then worked for a year as a consular assistant in the Political Affairs Department. After this one and a half years, I thought: now I'm ready to continue studying, and I moved to Berlin.

Bremen is a beautiful city with a high quality of life, but not many people move here from Berlin. What tipped the scales for you?

I was looking for papers on Covid-19 and International Organisations and came across Kerstin Martens, whose name I still knew from my Bachelor's degree. That's how I found the pages of the University of Bremen and saw that Kerstin and her colleagues were looking for new staff. I applied at the end of February. The interview was really nice, and I got the job offer the same afternoon! But I wasn't sure if I wanted to move from Berlin to Bremen all by myself, because I had established my personal infrastructure over the years with friends, family and so on. I also didn't know whether a PhD was really the right thing for me. But then Kerstin called me and we talked for over an hour about the project and the colleagues. After that I was sure: I can start my PhD journey in this constellation.

Have you always been interested in International Organisations?

Yes, ever since my Bachelor's programme, in which I also studied North Korean Studies. As a South Korean, I have no access at all to original data or media reports from North Korea. As a non-South Korean, it's quite different: with a German IP address, for example, I can look at North Korean websites. This is not possible from South Korea. Any exchange with North Korea that you do not clarify with the South Korean authorities before or after the interaction is illegal for South Koreans. One way of approaching North Korea is through International Organisations. That's why I've been very interested in IOs like the United Nations Security Council since the beginning of my studies, because it has a lot to do with North Korea.

Your project examines how International Organisations have influenced the Covid 19 policies of nation states and has several segments: You are researching global IOS, regional IOs and conducting country case studies. What segment will you be working in?

I will be responsible - this is my current status after two weeks in Bremen - for the OECD as a global IO and ASEAN as a regional organisation. And as a case study I will be working on Thailand, because there is obviously a direct ASEAN connection.

Do you already have a topic in mind for your doctoral thesis?

I'm reading a lot at the moment to flesh out my idea. In my doctoral thesis, I would like to examine not only the recommendations of the IOs, but also how the countries react to them or also influence the work of the IOs, for example through feedback or best practice. So I want to complement the top-down with the bottom-up perspective. I am also interested in digital technology, which is what I wrote my master's thesis on. It was about how digital technology influences the stability of authoritarian regimes. As you know, digital technologies play a big role in pandemic politics, e.g. through digital vaccination certificates, working from home, or tracing apps. Digital technologies have many positive effects, but also negative ones. For example, certain social groups have been partly ignored or marginalised in the use of digital technologies, e.g. older people or those without access to technical devices. I would like to look closer at such processes in my thesis.

And do you already have plans for the time after your PhD?

I would like to use the next three and a half years to think about that. But I would like to continue working in academia.

Sooahn Meier
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen

The mission of the new CRC member is to enhance the web-based Global Welfare State Information System (WeSIS), in close cooperation with our scientists.

The University of Bremen invites applications for the following position – under the condition of job release -

Software Developer (f/m/d) for Research Software

Reference number: A126/22

To be filled as soon as possible. This is a full-time permanent position (TV-L 13).

The University of Bremen is committed to a policy of providing equal employment opportunities for both men and women alike, and therefore strongly encourages women to apply for the position offered.


Developing software to support scientific research processes and making research data available long-term are core tasks at the University of Bremen. The position is initially part of the Collaborative Research Center 1342 (CRC 1342) “Global Dynamics of Social Policy” for continuing the development of the leading Global Welfare State Information System (WeSIS).

In the past four years, the web-based information system was designed and developed to help social policy researchers organize their data collection and analyses. The system is tailored to the needs of a large and very diverse group of researchers and is planned to be released to the scientific community in 2024.

 Based on the elicited design requirements, the system includes algorithmic solutions that support the researchers in semi-automatic data validation, storage, exploration, and sharing (

The project in the CRC 1342 is currently organized until 2025 and there is an extension planned until 2029, to be focused on research transfer and the release of the system to the general public. Afterward, the position will be taken over by the central IT-service area of the University of Bremen.

Your tasks

Your tasks will be improving and extending the existing web-based information system. The main goal will be working towards the system launch to the scientific community in 2024. In addition, you will implement new system features, with a focus on data analysis and visualization tools, as well as maintain and improve the existing features. The web-based information system is already being used by the social science researchers and stores more than a thousand datasets collected by them.

What do we offer?

You will work in an interdisciplinary and international team of scientists and technicians. You will work closely with the leading professors of the team. Moreover, you will work on innovative topics to support scientific work in cooperation with software developers from other faculties and with the Data Science Center of the University of Bremen. In doing so, you will have contact with diverse scientific topics from the social policy and computer science fields.


Your profile

  • You have a completed university degree (Master, Diplom or comparable degree) preferably in computer science, business informatics or in a related field with proven expertise in web software development.
  • You have experience working with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • You have experience working with relational databases (PostgreSQL or equivalent).
  • You have experience on the fields of data science or information visualization.
  • You have a very good command of spoken and written English (C1).
  • You have knowledge in participative software development.

In addition to the ability to work constructively in a team, you place particular value on user-centered work. You work independently, in a structured and problem-solving manner. Furthermore, you bring along communicative skills as well as the ability to think conceptually and analytically.


The University of Bremen offers a family-friendly working environment. Disabled applicants will be given priority if their professional and personal qualifications are fundamentally equivalent. Applications from persons with migration background as well as international applications are expressly welcomed.

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter (

Applications should be submitted up until May 17th, 2022 with the reference number A126/22 to the following address:

Universität Bremen
Dezernat 2 – Personalangelegenheiten
Postfach 33 04 40
28334 Bremen

We ask you to please send us document copies only because we cannot return anything.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen

The project examines the development of family policy around the world - the students assistant's taks include data and literature research/processing, the working hours are 9 hours/week.

At the University of Bremen, the following position is available in the Collaborative Research Centre 1342's project "Pathways to Family Policy Universalism: Inclusiveness and Scope of Family Policies in Global Perspective": 

Student Assistant with up to 9 hrs/week

Start date: As soon as possible. The position is temporary, a longer-term employment is intended.

The project is a part of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" and is directed by Prof. Sonja Drobnič. 

This project is about surveying the historical development of family policy measures in all countries of the world and explaining the spread across national borders. The role of international women's movements and civil society organisations will also be considered. 


  • Database and literature research
  • Collecting statistical data from text documents
  • Editing of previously collected data
  • Support in data analysis


  • Interest in social policy and/or macro-comparative data and research questions
  • Good level of English (other language skills are welcome)
  • Experience in literature research and/or document analysis
  • Independent, reliable and structured working style
  • Knowledge of R (especially data management) or STATA is an advantage

Please send an applications with CV and short letter of motivation electronically as a pdf attachment to:

Tobias Böger, and Sonja Drobnič,

Dr. Tobias Böger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58586