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Prof. Dr. Lutz Leisering
Prof. Dr. Lutz Leisering
Im Interview spricht Leisering über den dritten Band der Reihe "Global Dynamics of Social Policy", in dem er ein Modell zur Analyse sozialpolitischer Entwicklung vorstellt, das sich auch und gerade für den Globalen Süden eignet.

The third volume of the series "Global Dynamics of Social Policy", published by our SFB with Pagrave Macmillan, has been published: Lutz Leiseirng's "One Hundred Years of Social Protection - The Changing Social Question in Brazil, India, China, and South Africa". In the book, Leisering develops a conceptual model that can be used to analyse the development of social policy, also and especially in the Global South. Eight authors then apply this model to the socio-political development of the case studies Brazil, India, China and South Africa. In the interview, Leisering talks about the volume's place in social policy research and the lessons he draws from the case studies of his colleagues.

Your book is conceptually based on the "Onion Skin Model" that you have developed in 2019 in "The Global Rise of Social Cash Transfers". Can you describe the core of the model in a few sentences?

Prof. Dr. Lutz LeiseringThe onion skin model is based on the assumption that expanded state social policy is preconditional and evolutionarily improbable. This is because social policy not only has material preconditions, but also, neglected in research, ideational and socio-cultural preconditions. The onion-skin model reconstructs the ideational preconditions in four layers or " skins": social policy can only emerge if certain socio-economic conditions are perceived and addressed as "social problems"; if, more generally, the "social question" is recognised as a central issue of social development; if normative and cognitive models of the institutional handling of social problems are developed; and if the state is ascribed a social responsibility for the welfare of all citizens. These four layers reflect national state traditions and citizens' moral and cognitive orientations towards the social question.

In addition, there is a fifth, outer layer: only when the benefits of social policy for collective concerns - such as economic growth, political stability, national unity or human rights - are demonstrated ("framing"), is social policy sustainably legitimised. If, on the other hand, a collective dysfunctionality of social policy is claimed (negative framing), social policy is delegitimised.

If one examines these five layers for each country, one finds great differences, even between countries with similar levels of economic development. The differentiated layer model goes further than the distinction between major social worldviews - social democracy, conservatism and liberalism - that is common in the political economy of the welfare state and is hardly applicable to the Global South.

It is a model that is not only suitable for analysing the development of social policy in the Global South, but is generally applicable. You have been researching social policy for 30 years. Is the Onion Skin Model something like the culmination of all those years?

Yes, in the Onion Skin Model perspectives converge that have developed over the decades of my involvement with social policy. I researched the welfare states of the Global North for a long time and only turned to social policy in the Global South at a late stage (but as one of the first in Germany). In the attempt to theoretically grasp "social policy in development contexts", I came across basic questions of social policy that arise anew in the Southern context. A mere application of northern theories, as attempted by some, seemed to me to make little sense. In my theoretical search, I was influenced by my academic teacher Franz-Xaver Kaufmann, as well as by my doctoral supervisor at the London School of Economics, Robert Pinker, the most important student of T. H. Marshall. Welfare state theory today is dominated by political economy approaches that are capitalism-theoretical at their core and have their roots in Marx and Polanyi. Kaufmann, on the other hand, has developed a genuinely sociological approach to the welfare state, which is oriented towards modernisation theory and stands in the tradition of Max Weber. In my studies on the Global South, I found that the almost buried modernisation-theoretical tradition is better suited than the political-economic one to grasp social policy in the Global South and even to enable an overarching global theory. The onion-skin model is an operationalisation of essential elements of this genuinely sociological, Weberian approach.

The case studies in your book are largely based on the analysis of historical sources such as documents. An approach we also follow at the CRC 1342, but in your book you write: "[...] systematic recourse to documents is not widespread in the social policy literature." Do you have an explanation why this is?

Traditionally, the extensive analysis of primary sources has been the domain of historians. Today, however, idea-oriented approaches are widespread in policy research, i.e. in studies of specific social policy laws or reforms, and these approaches rely on the analysis of documents, e.g. minutes of parliamentary debates. But as far as the analysis of the overall arrangement of social policy measures in a country or the welfare state as a whole is concerned, there are only a few ideologically oriented and source-based analyses. Instead, analyses of socio-economic interests and power relations are dominant, with ideas being contributed only very coarsely by the major social worldviews of social democracy, conservatism and liberalism. My volume, on the other hand, aims at a fine-grained ideational analysis of the overall arrangement of social security in the four countries, which requires a close document analysis. Such an approach, especially over a period of 100 years and comparing countries, is very rare in the literature.

For the case studies you have chosen China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Why these countries and not, for example, low-income countries? 

In my last major study before this volume, the DFG project FLOOR, my team and I examined basic social security in all countries of the Global South, i.e. what you might call a large n analysis. In doing so, one cannot, by nature, delve deeply into individual countries. When looking for a small group of countries (small n) for an in-depth analysis, the choice fell on some of the largest "emerging markets", because here one can nicely show that besides the much-noticed economic rise of some countries of the South, social policy has developed enormously at the same time, which people are far less aware of. We found a lot of literature on the economic development of the BRICS countries, but very little comparative literature on their social policy. Moreover, we must not forget that the countries in our period of study, i.e. 1920-2020, were poor or even bitterly poor for a long time. The gross national product in India and China, for example, only increased significantly after 1980. An analysis of the four countries is also productive because this group of countries is very heterogeneous in several respects.

The developments of social policy in China, India, Brazil and South Africa have many similarities, but also crucial differences. The case studies are certainly more than just examples of application of the Onion Skin Model - what are the most important findings you draw from the comparison and synthesis of the four case studies?

In general, we can say that our findings confirm the thesis of cultural idiosyncrasies of each individual welfare state, which Franz Xaver Kaufmann established for northern welfare states, in contrast to the popular classification of countries into simple boxes. We also found these idiosyncrasies in the Global South. Nevertheless, certain patterns are apparent, there are commonalities and differences between the four countries.

As far as commonalities are concerned, it is striking that in all four countries at least the elites saw social policy early on as part of a modernisation of their country to be striven for. What surprised us was that this already began in the 1920s and not in the 1940s, as we had initially assumed according to the literature. What the countries also have in common, with the exception of India, is that social policy has become more inclusive over the decades, i.e. has somewhat broken away from the early privileging of small social groups - a certain social progress. This was reflected in the spread of social semantics such as "social policy", "social insurance", "social security" and "social cash transfers" and the establishment of relevant ministries. External social policy ideas from northern countries and international organisations also played a role in all countries, even if these were processed in a country-specific way.

In terms of differences between the four countries, India stands out the most. Social policy in India is less developed than in the other three countries; the social question has always been "stifled" by religious factors and the caste system, as Sony Pellissery argues. The hope in the early post-war period that India would demonstrate the superiority of Western democracy compared to China has thus not materialised, neither economically nor socio-politically. South Africa, on the other hand, was active in social policy at an early stage, including during apartheid and increasingly afterwards, and now has a system of basic social security for a wide range of groups that is considered by some to be the new social model in the Global South. This model is not based on contribution-financed and wage-related social insurance, as is the case in most northern welfare states, but on tax-financed basic social security (social cash transfers). Among the four countries, China has had the most chequered history in the field of social policy, also and especially after the revolution, and has most recently, in the 2010s, built up an astonishingly comprehensive social security system, albeit at a very low level. Brazil is a country with a strong history of social policy and great promises in its constitution, but this has always been overshadowed by the unresolved fundamental problem of a massive inequality in the distribution of land and the associated power relations.

The social question was raised in different ways and at different times in the four countries. The earliest social question was the land question. It remained unresolved in Brazil, while China implemented a radical land reform after the communist revolution in the early 1950s, making land the main form of social security in the countryside for a long time. In Brazil, the social question was for a long time primarily a workers' question, which dictators used to secure their rule through a neo-corporatist intertwining of the state and the industrial workforce. From the 1990s onwards, however, Brazil became one of the pioneers of a social security policy for the poor that went beyond workers' politics; the inclusion of broader sections of the population became the new social question. In South Africa, the social question was consistently primarily the question of the poor, driven during apartheid primarily by concern for impoverished whites, while blacks were seen as uncivilised.

Religion was a factor that shaped how the social question was dealt with. Hindu traditions of thought were a major brake on the idea of universal social policy in India, while in South Africa neo-Calvinism promoted a certain expansion of social security, but combined with harsh discrimination and social control, up to and including the deportation of the black population to their own homelands. Even from today's point of view, the most evil discrimination was justified with elaborate religious ideas, as Marianne Ulriksen notes for South Africa. Social ideas are not always humane, as the current integration of social services into the nationwide monitoring and control system in the People's Republic of China shows.

Based on the comparison of four countries, one can make cautious assumptions about the future of social security in the Global South. On the one hand, there are apocalyptic visions in the literature, mostly from political economists, who postulate a global precarisation of labour and a new intensification of the social question. On the other hand, declarations and programmes of international organisations from within and outside the United Nations often reflect an unbroken belief in progress. Perhaps a third scenario is more likely, namely heterogeneous development. Already in the Global North, genuine welfare statehood (in the sense of a full development of all four or five layers of the onion-skin model) is limited to a few countries in Western and Northern Europe and the Commonwealth. It is therefore plausible to assume that the social question and how it is dealt with varies greatly even within the Global South. China and South Africa represent the variant of a semi-universal social security system at a very low level. What is at stake here is nothing more (but also nothing less) than the fight against extreme poverty. Brazil stands for expanded but endangered social security, and India for the failure of the social question. The four countries also show the limits of social policy, namely the social inequality structures and lines of division that social policy can at best mitigate, in several dimensions: Ethnicity (South Africa, Brazil), religion (India), caste (India), class and gender (all four countries).

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Read the book (open access): One Hundred Years of Social Protection - The Changing Social Question in Brazil, India, China, and South Africa

Shih-Jiunn Shi and Suetgiin Soon from the National Taiwan University analyse Taiwan's social policy response to the social and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In their abstract they write: "Effective countermeasures have created favourable circumstances for the government to deploy social policy as a safety net. Almost all the major responses are of a temporary nature, and a programmatic extension of the existing social security institutions (e.g., social assistance and specific in-cash benefits targeted at specific occupational or population groups). In addition, the government granted financial support to those enterprises in difficulties to disincentivize them from dismissing their employees. All these measures have largely offset the adverse consequences of the pandemic crisis. Against this backdrop, Taiwan should be amongst those countries to recover first from the pandemic shock."

In the coming weeks, a total of more than 30 volumes will be published in the CRC 1342 Covid-19 Social Policy Response Series, with a special focus on the Global South. The series provides a country-by-country overview of worldwide social policy developments in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each report contains an essay focusing on one particular dimension of a country’s social policy response and is supplemented by a systematic data appendix on social policy legislation passed since the outbreak of the pandemic. All published reports have undergone peer review. Contributors to the series include members of the CRC 1342 and its international expert network.

Read the first volume of the CRC 1342 Covid-19 Social Policy Response Series: Taiwan’s Social Policy Response to Covid-19: Protecting Workers, Reviving the Economy

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio have published a paper in the SFB 1342 Technical Paper Series. The author team presents a data driven way to operationalize cultural characteristics of states and cultural similarity between states.

Fabian Besche-Truthe, Helen Seitzer and Michael Windzio have published a paper in the SFB 1342 Technical Paper Series. The author team presents a data driven way to operationalize cultural characteristics of states and cultural similarity between states. Why is this important? The authors are confident that culture is a major factor influencing the developmental paths of states and regions.

Their data set on "cultural spheres" is an innovative tool to describe cultural configurations of nations in a relational way. Countries can be tied by sharing a multitude of cultural characteristics, defined by a variety of variables like dominant religion(s), dominant language, colonial history, gender relations, civil freedom etc. As a result, the user gets a fuzzy typology of cultural spheres. This typology consists of yearly valued networks, spanning a time frame of 1789 until 2010 (see figure, the year 2015 as an example). The more of these characteristics two countries share, the more closely connected they are.

Figure 1: Cultural Spheres Network 2015

The approach of Besche-Truthe, Seitzer and Windzio enables researchers to overcome various ways of using proxies to define some sort of cultural categories. Through a relational, additive approach to cultural spheres, the authors offer a tool that is adaptable to different research questions, especially regarding policy diffusion. Their dataset is a first step towards harnessing the ‘culture matters’ proclamation in a standardized, controllable, relational way.

The full paper is availabe for download: Cultural Spheres – Creating a dyadic dataset of cultural proximity

More information on the research of project A05: The Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems

 

Dr. Mónika Contreras Saiz
Dr. Mónika Contreras Saiz
For a couple of weeks now, Mónika Contreras Saiz is working as a researcher in project B02 "Emergence, Expansion, and Transformation of the Welfare State in the Cono Sur in Exchange with (Southern) Europe (1850–1990)". About time to introduce her.

Dear Mónika, you have recently joined project B02 - welcome! Which are your main topics of research at the moment?

Mónika Contreras Saiz: I work on the emergence and development of housing policy in Chile using the case study of police officers. From a micro-historical perspective, I analyse the provision of social housing and the relationship between this state housing policy for a specific population group and a broader national social policy.

Poster contest: Exhibition on affordable housing (From: Revista de La Habitación. Organo del Consejo Superior y de los Consejos Departamentales de Habitaciones Obreras. Ano II, Santiago, Setiembre de 1922, N. 21, S. 613)Like the health and occupational health and safety policies that we examine in project B02, Chilean social housing policy has received regional and European impulses that we are also investigating. Another aspect of social housing policy to be considered is its relationship with public health and safety policy, for example as part of the solution to a serious public health problem such as child mortality. In Chile at the beginning of the 20th century, more than half of the children under five years of age died from poorer social classes. The provision of hygienic housing and its regulation would help to solve this problem. In terms of internal security, the housing problem was linked to a moral problem that affected security and even the economy. It was argued that the lack of adequate housing led to alcoholism ("A good house keeps the worker away from the tavern" - quote from a recommendation for housing for Chilean workers in 1904), misery and immorality, and thus to criminal behaviour and disorder, with fatal consequences not only for public order but also for economic development.

One thing that stands out on your CV is that you have two degrees. First, you earned a diploma in history at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. From 2005 to 2007, you completed a Master's degree in Ancient American Studies and History at the FU. What was the reason for you to start a second degree course after your diploma?

Mónika Contreras Saiz: It is a long story, but I try to present it in a compact way: I graduated in Colombia in 2003 and wanted to do a Master's in Political Science, Anthropology, History or Communication Studies in Germany. In Colombia, a German professor who worked at my university (Prof. Dr. Gisela Cramer) advised me and explained that there were no Master's degrees in Germany at that time. However, the Bologna Process had already been set in motion, which began to change the entire study system in Germany. It would therefore be likely that there would already be a number of new Master's programmes when the planned start of studies (then scheduled for the summer of 2005) took place.

I had applied for a DAAD Colfuturo Scholarship and finally came to Germany in winter 2004. When I learned German, I was supposed to decide which Master's programme to start. The summer semester of 2005 was slowly approaching and the only Master's programme that came into question for me did not begin until October 2005. At the same time, I had the obligation to begin my studies in April 2005. Because of this situation, I decided to take the second part of a Magister programme, which was equivalent to a Master's degree (two years of attending seminars and preparing the final thesis). In this sense, for me, the Magister was a kind of further education and less a second degree course. Later I had the opportunity to switch to the Master's programme, but I was very satisfied with the Magister programme and decided to stay enrolled. So I'm one of the last generations to receive the title Magister or Magistra Artium in Germany.

After your doctorate you taught and researched at the Institute for Latin American Studies at the FU Berlin. What were your main focuses?

Mónika Contreras Saiz: In the first phase, my focus was on the colonization history of Latin America from a transnational and global perspective and on interethnic relations in border areas and economic spaces as emerging coexistence spaces. In the second phase, I concentrated particularly on historical research on the culture of memory in Latin America and the use of digital methods in historical research. In my research, I have thus dealt with the establishment and maintenance of security in the context of state-building processes in Latin America, German police assistance for Latin American police officers, and the communication of history through entertainment media in Latin America.

Although all these research areas sound very different, they are somehow connected to each other and have also opened up research opportunities for me in new areas. For example, the study of relations between the state and indigenous groups led me to study police forces. The study of police forces in Latin America, in turn, led me to the topic of social housing policy. And on top of that, there are also beautiful coincidences in work and life: in 2011, for example, I took part in an event on memory and since then this topic has always accompanied me and offered me many new research opportunities.

More information on project B02: Emergence, Expansion, and Transformation of the Welfare State in the Cono Sur in Exchange with (Southern) Europe (1850–1990)

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Picture 1: private.
Picture 2: Poster contest: Exhibition on affordable housing (From: Revista de La Habitación. Organo del Consejo Superior y de los Consejos Departamentales de Habitaciones Obreras. Año II, Santiago, Setiembre de 1922, N. 21, S. 613)


Contact:
Dr. Mónika Contreras Saiz
Dr. Tim Dorlach
Dr. Tim Dorlach
The country reports record and analyse which social policy measures countries around the world have taken to mitigate the negative economic and social consequences of the pandemic. Tim Dorlach explains in an interview what we can expect.

Dear Tim, in a few days time our first country report on social policy responses to the Covid 19 pandemic will be published. Please explain briefly what it is about.

Tim Dorlach: The contributions to our new series of country reports analyse the social policy measures that national governments have taken so far to mitigate the negative social impacts of this global pandemic. Each report consists of an essay and an appendix of data on key social policy reforms. In the first round, the focus is initially on countries of the Global South. Researchers still know far too little about the social policy responses to the pandemic beyond Europe and North America.

How many country reports will be released in the series and who writes them?

Tim Dorlach: About 30 country reports will be published in the coming months. These reports will be written by some members of the Collaborative Research Centre 1342 as well as by many members of our international network of country experts. This network was initiated to enable the CRC to conduct global social policy research in close cooperation with local experts.

The corona pandemic is far from over, and the same applies to its social impacts and the associated social policy responses of nation states. Will there therefore be something like a follow-up report for the countries - "Covid19 Social Policy Responses in 2021" or similar?

Tim Dorlach: That is the plan. After all, the medium- and long-term social policy responses to the pandemic will probably be different from the initial short-term responses in the first months after the outbreak of the pandemic. On the one hand, governments will probably have to find more structural welfare state solutions, but on the other hand, they may soon run out of money to do so.

The Covid-19 country reports were (of course) not included in the original programme of CRC 1342. Can you briefly describe how this project came about?

Tim Dorlach: The pandemic has of course taken us all by surprise and thrown us off track. In many parts, the pandemic has also severely impaired work. On the other hand, with the CRC, the University of Bremen is also ideally prepared to investigate the social impact of the pandemic and social policy solutions from a global perspective. This additional project was therefore launched at relatively short notice.

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Tim Dorlach is a Postdoctoral Researcher at SOCIUM. His current research focuses on social and healthcare policy in the newly industrialising countries. He tweets at @TimDorlach.

Tuberculosis bacteria (©Juan Gärtner - stock.adobe.com)
Tuberculosis bacteria (©Juan Gärtner - stock.adobe.com)
The spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Armenia is linked to returning labour migrants and their precarious living conditions in Russia.

The spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Armenia relates to the returning labour migrants from Russia. With limited access to healthcare and fear of deportation in Russia, the migrants have only limited abilities to get tested and, when necessary, to receive the relevant treatment. This situation has increased the burden of the disease in Armenia, where most of the patients with drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis are returned labour migrants.

For more information see our publication:
Isabekova, Gulnaz, 2019: The Contribution of Vulnerability of Labour Migrants to Drug Resistance in the Region: Overview and Suggestions, in: The European Journal of Development Research, 31 (3), pp. 620 - 642.

More about the research of project B06: External Reform Models and Internal Debates on the New Conceptualisation of Social Policy in the Post-Soviet Region


Contact:
Gulnaz Isabekova
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research Centre for East European Studies
Klagenfurter Straße 8
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57073
E-Mail: gulnaz@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier
Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier
Frank Nullmeier reflects on the concept of freedom in times of a pandemic. He argues to reform public infection control and to then understand it as a social policy instrument that facilitates freedom in the first place.

During the pandemic, infection control measures by governments and administrations interfere with everyday activities that citizens are used to. These measures are often described by critics as harmful to the freedom of the individual as well as of society. But such a concept of freedom is not appropriate in the context of a pandemic, Frank Nullmeier argues. It is first and foremost the pandemic that violates freedom. We need to develop a concept of welfare state freedom that allows to understand state intervention initially as a reaction to a state of unfreedom.

Historically, public disease control is rooted in policing, and thought patterns of social law and the welfare state have not become firmly integrated. Frank Nullmeier therefore argues that public infection control should be reformed and given a social policy character, similar to the regulation of employment relationships (e.g. work and safety). Appropriate forms of governance, which also implies an institutional restructuring of infection control policy, must be based on the concept of welfare state freedom, guided by the concept of social freedom.

Frank Nullmeier's complete essay at the Theorie-Blog: Covid-19-Pandemie und soziale Freiheit (German only)


Contact:
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

Dr. Achim Schmid, Gabriela de Carvalho, Johanna Fischer (left to right)
Dr. Achim Schmid, Gabriela de Carvalho, Johanna Fischer (left to right)
Gabriela de Carvalho explains in an interview why existing typologies of health care systems have a strong Global North bias and why this is problematic.

Gabriela de Carvalho, Achim Schmid and Johanna Fischer have examined the literature on health care system classifications. The existing typologies, the team has found, have a strong Global North bias and thus fail to capture important features of health care systems of the Global South. Gabriela de Carvalho, the first author of the paper published in Global Social Policy, explains some details of their findings and what this means for researchers and policy makers.

You have reviewed the literature for existing classifications of health care systems and found that they are poorly suited to support research on the Global South. What is the reason?

Gabriela de Carvalho: The main goal of our research was to evaluate the health care system typology literature and its ability to capture the particularities of health care systems of the Global South. The findings of our study points to limitations of several features of existing typologies: their coverage, methods used, and criteria they build on. Regarding coverage, health care systems of LMICs (low- and middle-income countries) are rarely taken into consideration in the literature, as classified cases consist of a 1:5 ratio of Global South to Global North countries. With respect to methods, the overreliance on inductive approaches to classification often excludes countries that cannot be measured in numeric terms. Health statistics mostly focus on the Global North, and has only recently included more data on countries from the South, hampering the analysis of arrangements beyond high-income nations. The use of inductive typologies to classify systems may result in poorly informed classifications especially if the study aims at the creation of a tool for applicability beyond their sample of cases. With regard to the criteria and characteristics health care systems are compared by, dominant features of health care systems that mostly exist in LMICs such as the segmentation of the system for different population groups, are not taken into consideration in many typologies. This often results in typologies that do not capture the empirical reality of the South.

In your paper you write that the health care systems in many countries of the Global South are very different from those of the Global North. What are the most important points?

Gabriela de Carvalho: All health care systems regardless of the country face numerous challenges and the current pandemic made this even more evident. Still, it is undeniable that systems of the Global South endure even greater financial and technical constraints. Besides larger disparities in health care per capita spending, number of health care professionals, and burden of diseases, LMICs are more prone to rely on international actors (transnational organisations, INGOs, and third countries) to finance, provide services and even regulate their systems. Another very important characteristic of many health care systems of the Global South is segmentation, the coexistence of different schemes targeting different population groups according to income, social status and/or type of employment. As a general rule, the poor are beneficiaries of public services due to their exclusion from formal employment, while the upper classes are covered by social and/or private insurance. This stratification leads to extensive health inequalities, as public services only provide basic care, and supplementary services are only used by those who are able to afford them.

What do you see as the reasons why these aspects have not been sufficiently considered in the classification literature so far?

Gabriela de Carvalho: In general, we believe that scientific research is still concentrated in and revolve around OECD countries due to data availability, financial and technical resources, institutional capacity, and the interest of researchers. Of course, recent decades have seen an expansion of (health care systems) scholarship on LMICs, mainly in the form of in-depth case studies, but it still lacks in comparison to the Global North literature, especially when systematic comparison is concerned. If more varied cases are not taken into account, the literature will continue to only partially represent the empirical reality, amplifying the ‘invisibility’ of less studies countries/regions. Particularly to the scholarship we are analysing, it is clear that classification and the development of meaningful typologies is much more complicated when dealing with countries of the Global South. Reasons for that vary from segmentation/parallel (public) systems, parts of the population and/or health services left to markets, and the existence of less „mature”systems. While systems found in the Global North can also be mixed or hybrids in some way, it is much harder to condense the information and assign an LMIC to an ideal type.

What are the consequences of the mismatch between the existing classifications in the literature and the health systems existing in the Global South - for scientific research and for practice/policy?

Gabriela de Carvalho: As the literature often relies on health care systems of the Global North to develop classificatory tools, it seems reasonable to assume that the models resulting from these typologies are more prominent and influential in shaping researchers and policymakers’ ideas of what a health care system does – and should – look like. We argue that high-income examples can be (mis)interpreted as portraying ‘best’ models or ‘benchmarks’, which may lead to standard setting for other countries, disregarding particular and fundamental characteristics of health care systems in LMICs. This could also translate into policy advice being modelled in terms of the well-known types. For scientific research, this bias towards the North may hinder novel knowledge production that could potentially focus on less analysed cases, as research tends to gravitate around seminal works, leaving aside unfamiliar cases or new theoretical considerations.


Read the full paper (Open Access): Classifications of health care systems: Do existing typologies reflect the particularities of the Global South?

More about the research of Gabriela de Carvalho, Achim Schmid and Johanna Fischer and the whole project A04 team:
Global Developments in Health Care Systems and Long-term Care as a New Social Risk


Contact:
Gabriela de Carvalho
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57078
E-Mail: decarvalho@uni-bremen.de

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

Dr. Achim Schmid
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58526
E-Mail: aschmid@uni-bremen.de

Anna Wolkenhauer
Anna Wolkenhauer
Anna Wolkenhauer from InIIS covers Alex Veit until the end of March 2021 in project B09. We introduce her in a brief interview.

You had your defence in mid-September. How did it go, can we congratulate you?

Yes, you can! I won't have the title (PhD) until the publication of my monograph, but the defence went very well.

It's probably impossible, but still: Can you explain in a few sentences what your dissertation was about?

In my dissertation I investigated the question of how social policy and state formation are connected in the age of "Neoliberalism 2.0". During my work and research in Zambia, which now extends over many years, it became clear over time that exciting dynamics could be at work here. I interviewed government officials, social policy recipients, as well as people from civil society and international organisations in order to better understand the complex effects of the new social policy programmes on the state. In a process of qualitative analysis, I have identified various mechanisms by which statehood spreads from the centre to the periphery of the country, which manifests itself, for example, in the discursive involvement and bureaucratisation and standardisation of the population, as well as in political connections and possibilities of exerting influence. However, a certain ambivalence can be observed: In this expansion of statehood, the ideological and practical boundaries of the state, which are perceived as natural, are already built into it.

In the coming months you will stand in for Alex Veit (temporary professor in Marburg) in the CRC project B09 "The Rise, Decay and Renaissance of Social Policy in Africa". What tasks will you be taking on in the project?

I will contribute my results from Zambia for comparative discussions with the other country studies of the project and I will also contribute to publications.

What classes will you be taking over in the winter semester?

I will offer a BA seminar on "Politics in the Rural Area" as well as an tutorial on the lecture "International Relations".

What are your professional and career plans for the next few years?

I'm just starting to take a closer look at politics in rural areas and its interaction with state social policy. I am interested in the question of how changes linked to the globalisation of agriculture and the neo-liberal turn in social policy affect the way political participation and political self-image are perceived in the countryside.


Contact:
Anna Wolkenhauer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67463
E-Mail: anna.wolkenhauer@uni-bremen.de

The dataset, to which Nils Düpont of CRC 1342 contributed, gathers information on political positions of parties since 1970, according to which ruling parties in democracies are becoming more illiberal, with the US Republicans among the leaders.

According to the "V-Party Illiberation Index", the Republican Party has since 2006 gradually abandoned the idea of upholding democratic norms. The illiberal swing in 2016 was so strong that the Republicans' campaign rhetoric has since been closer to that of the AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary than to the average ruling parties in democratic countries around the world.

Although the Republicans under Trump are an extreme example, it is representative of a trend: according to the V-Party Illiberation Index, the ruling parties in democracies worldwide have become more illiberal on average over the past decades. This means that they tend to feel less committed to pluralism, tend to demonise political opponents, ignore minority rights and even encourage political violence.

The dataset "Varieties of Party Identity and Organization Dataset (V-Party)" was compiled by the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg and comprises data on 1560 elections and 1955 political parties worldwide between 1970 and 2019. 665 international country experts have analyzed and coded the political positions of the parties over the entire period using 30 indicators.

The V-Dem Institute has summarized the most important results from the analysis of the V-Party dataset in a short report: V-Dem Institute Briefing Paper #9.

The entire dataset can be downloaded free of charge.

Information about the participation of Nils Düpont and the CRC 1342 in the production of the V-Party dataset can be found here.


Contact:
Dr. Nils Düpont
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57060
E-Mail: duepont@uni-bremen.de

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