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B05 member Tao Liu has co-authored and published a paper stating that for the first time social policy in China has acted as a major player for coping with the negative outcomes of a pandemic.

Tao Liu co-authored the article "Social Policy Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis in
China in 2020" with his Chinese colleagues Quan Lu, Zehao Cai, and Bin Chen. It was published open access in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The article focuses on how Chinese social policy has responded to the COVID-19 crisis until June 2020. "The explosiveness and severity of the pandemic crisis and its unpredictable as well as astronomical social costs have strengthened the model of 'big government' in the Chinese case with massive state intervention in society and the economy," Tao Liu and his co-authors state. The crisis "has further legitimated hyper-normal and, in some cases, nationwide and large-scale extralegal intervention policy." In order to mitigate social suffering and to guarantee political stability, different types of social policy programmes have been combined and synthesized, including social insurance, social assistance, and social welfare arrangements. "For the first time, social policy in China has acted as a major player for coping with the negative outcomes of a pandemic," the authors conclude.

The authors state that China is making a great effort to overcome the crisis. Nevertheless, they criticise the measures. For example, not even half of the urban working population is insured against unemployment. Moreover, the amounts paid out are low despite a surplus of 82 billion US dollars accumulated over the years. In the area of social assistance, many domestic migrant workers had problems registering because they could not travel to their home towns in time.

The full paper can be read and downloaded here free of charge.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Tao Liu
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute of Sociology
Forsthausweg 2
47057 Duisburg
Phone: +49 203 379-3747
E-Mail: tao.liu@uni-due.de

Chipenda is a research associate at the SARChI Chair in Social Policy at the University of South Africa. For the next months he will work with the team of project B09 on food security policies in South Africa.

Clement Chipenda (PhD) is a research associate at the SARChI Chair in Social Policy, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA). Chipenda completed his PhD in Sociology with UNISA in 2019 and his thesis focused on the social policy dimensions of Zimbabwe’s land reform programme.

Chipenda joins CRC 1342 as a Visiting Fellow for three months from August to October 2020. He will be hosted by Alex Veit of Project B09 "The Rise, Decay and Renaissance of Social Policy in Africa". Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Chipenda will work from abroad and join B09 online.

Clement Chipenda and Alex Veit will be working on the trajectory of food security policies in South Africa from 1918-2018. The purpose of their work is to understand the development of food security policies in South Africa and find explanations for continuities in the context of fundamental ideological change by way of figurational analysis.

During the fellowship, Chipenda will also participate and present research on social policies in Southern Africa to the wider scientific community at the University of Bremen, UNISA and beyond.

Chipenda's work currently focuses on social policy, agrarian political economy, food security, citizenship, youth development and gender in the Global South. He has recently published in the Africa Review (2020), Canadian Journal of African Studies (2019) and African Journal of Economic and Management Studies (2019). He has just completed working on a co-authored journal article on the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that will be published shortly in a Special Issue of the Journal of Comparative Family Studies (2020). Clement is currently working on two projects on the youth and livelihoods in post land reform contexts as well as peasant production, food security and livelihoods in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The study is funded by two research grants which he received in 2019 and 2020 from the Network of Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) in collaboration with the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Clement is a member of Anthropology Southern Africa, the Network of Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) and the South African Sociological Association.

Dr. Nate Breznau
Dr. Nate Breznau
Breznau identifies that welfare states alleviate the perception of risk related to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic in particular where governments fail to take rapid and strong pandemic response measures.

The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic adds or intensifies social risks across entire societies, in particular those related to employment and health. Therefore, the Pandemic may disrupt overall well-being. This makes it a test of how well societies are prepared to deal with a sudden global change to social risks. Since the Industrial Revolution, societies started pooling risks socially as welfare states. Employing various forms of social insurance and shifting the burden of risk, and often fault, from individuals to the societal-level, individuals and families are taken care of in case of emergency or need. This has strong implications for risk perceptions under ‘normal’ conditions. The question Breznau’s study then asks is if these welfare state implications extend to an abnormal shock to risk as experienced in the Pandemic.

In a special issue of European Societies, Breznau published his study, "The Welfare State and Risk Perceptions: The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic and Public Concern in 70 Countries". Using novel data from the global COVIDiSTRESS survey, he compares 70 countries in April of 2020, a month where deaths resulting from Covid-19 affected three-quarters of the world’s societies. Controlling for local timing and severity of the pandemic, he finds that welfare state strength predicts lower risk perceptions. However, this it is not a universal effect as expected. The welfare state impact depends on how quickly a government introduced strong ‘lock down’ measures, and thus how effectively they contained or appear to be containing the virus. The longer it took a government to respond the more the welfare state reduces risk perceptions. Governments that took lock down measures in advance of the virus show no variation in risk perceptions, whereas governments that took 30 days to respond have publics with up to 1.5 standard deviations lower marginal risk perceptions in case of the strongest welfare states. Breznau therefore concludes that the welfare state matters very much when governments fail to take effective intervention measures in a global emergency.

Consistent with best practices of open science, Breznau provides all of the data and code for his project on the Open Science Framework. Moreover, as European Societies is a paywalled journal, those interested may access a preprint of the article uploaded to SocArXiv – again consistent with best open science practices and to promote a more ethical, transparent and reproducible for of science.


Contact:
Dr. Nate Breznau
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
E-Mail: nbreznau@uni-bremen.de

Simon Gerards Iglesias in Berlin
Simon Gerards Iglesias in Berlin
The online lecture marked the end of his scholarship for a research stay in Berlin.

This year Simon Gerards Iglesias had received a scholarship from the Ibero-American Institute (IAI) of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation for a research stay as a visiting scholar in Berlin. On 16 June 2020, he concluded his scholarship with a lecture on his dissertation project, which he is working on in project B02. In his historical research, Gerards Iglesias examines the relations between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Argentina in the period 1919 to 1943 from a transnational perspective. In addition to the research staff of the Ibero-American Institute, a number of scholars from Latin America participated in the colloquium lecture, which, due to Corona, had to take place as a video conference.


Contact:
Simon Gerards Iglesias
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft / FB 08
Universitäts-Boulevard 13
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67204
E-Mail: sgerards@uni-bremen.de

The team of authors identifies three causal mechanisms that have led to the development of contribution-based social security systems in China.

Since the initiation of reform and opening policies, social protection for urban workers in the People’s Republic of China has transformed massively. Before the 1980s, state-owned enterprises were responsible for protecting workers from social risks such as old age, accidents, and illness. Today, these three areas are organized as contribution-based social insurance systems with Chinese characteristics.

In their paper "Causal mechanisms in the making of China‘s social insurance system: Policy experimentation, topleader intervention, and elite cooperation" Tobias ten Brink, Armin Müller and Tao Liu identifie the causal mechanisms that led to the introduction of insurance schemes in the 1990s and early 2000s. they find three causal mechanisms: (neutral and strategic) policy experimentation, top-leader intervention, and (consensus-based and enforced) elite cooperation. Moreover, the thre authors demonstrate that the presence or absence of complementarity between the international environment and the domestic actor constellation had a decisive effect on how those mechanisms played out in the policy fields of urban pension, health and work accident insurance.

"Causal mechanisms in the making of China‘s social insurance system: Policy experimentation, topleader intervention, and elite cooperation" is the seventh Socium SFB 1342 Working Paper that has been published since October 2019.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Tao Liu
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute of Sociology
Forsthausweg 2
47057 Duisburg
Phone: +49 203 379-3747
E-Mail: tao.liu@uni-due.de

Dr. Armin Müller
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research IV and China Global Center
Campus Ring 1
28759 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 200-3473
E-Mail: arm.mueller@jacobs-university.de

Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research IV and China Global Center
Campus Ring 1
28759 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 200-3382
E-Mail: t.tenbrink@jacobs-university.de

Müller met for a video conference with Evelyne Gebhardt, deputy chair of the delegation for relations with the PR China in the European Parliament, and Tamara Anthony, head of the ARD studio in Beijing.

A replay of the conversation is available on Evelyne Gebhardt's Facebook page (German only).


Contact:
Dr. Armin Müller
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Research IV and China Global Center
Campus Ring 1
28759 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 200-3473
E-Mail: arm.mueller@jacobs-university.de

In his contribution, CRC member Ivo Mossig discusses the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for socio-economic development disparities and the role of social policy in this context.

From 6 to 8 July 2020, the research group Transient Spaces and Societies of the Institute of Geography at the University of Innsbruck is organising a digital symposium on COVID-19 as a turning point? Geographic perspectives on spaces, societies and technologies in the pandemic. Ivo Mossig, co-director of project A01, participates with his lecture "Socio-economic differences in development and social policy in times of the COVID-19 pandemic".

Mossig starts from the observation that in times of a pandemic the social security systems in all parts of the world are put to a particularly hard test. At the same time, he notes that social policy and the security systems resulting from it are decisive elements in explaining the different consequences of the pandemic worldwide. Mossig is therefore all the more surprised that geographers have always analysed spatial socio-economic development differences but pay little attention to social policy. In his contribution to the conference, Mossig therefore highlights the interdependent relationship between socio-economic development differences and social policy. According to Mossig, the integration of such social policy research can contribute substantially to explaining social inequalities at different spatial scales. This only becomes more relevant in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Ivo Mossig
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 / 421 / 218 67410
E-Mail: mossig@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt
Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt
The book kicks off the series “Global Dynamics of Social Policy” and covers the influence of external actors on social protection in the Global South.

Carina Schmitt’s book "From Colonialism to International Aid - External Actors and Social Protection in the Global South" his published open access. "We have been aware for a long time, that external actors have been important for social protection in these countries from the very beginning," Carina Schmitt explains. "However, we didn’t fully understand how this influence exactly looks like. The book exactly addresses this question."

The book comprises of 14 chapters and takes a deeper look at the influence of colonialism, the Cold War, and internationals donors on the development of social protection in the past and present. It is based on the symposium "Building Social Protection Systems in the Global South. Different Trajectories and the Influence of External Factors" held at the University of Bremen in June 2018. It brought together experts in social policy in developing countries. "We tried to combine different research perspectives and traditions and also scholars from different regions of the world," says Carina Schmitt.

The CRC 1342 and Palgrave Mcmillan launched the book series "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" in order to publish research findings produced within CRC 1342, as well as from external colleagues. The series features studies on the waves, ruptures and transformative periods of welfare state expansion and retrenchment globally. It takes a comprehensive and globalized perspective on social policy, and the approach will help to locate and explain episodes of retrenchment, austerity, and tendencies toward de-welfarization in particular countries, policy areas and/or social risk-groups by reference to prior, simultaneous or anticipated episodes of expansion or contraction in other countries, areas, and risks.

One of the aims of this series is to address the different constellations that emerge between political and economic actors including international and intergovernmental organizations, political actors and bodies, and business enterprises. A better understanding of these dynamics improves the reader’s grasp of social policy making, social policy outputs, and ultimately the outcomes of social policy.

The editors of the series are the CRC 1342 members Lorraine Frisina Doetter, Delia González de Reufels and Kerstin Martens, as well as Marianne S. Ulriksen (University of Southern Denmark).


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58603
E-Mail: carina.schmitt@uni-bremen.de

In a blog post Anna Safuta and Kristin Noack examine the impact of the corona crisis on migrant care workers in Germany. Their precarious situation gets aggravated.

German households are employing up to 500,000 migrant care workers, most of them Polish, to a lesser extent Romanian, Bulgarian and Ukrainenian. "Their employment conditions are often at odds with legal requirements concerning minimum wages and working time", Safuta and Noack write in their article. But they and their families heavily rely on the income, often generated as "live-in workers" who are staying with the families in Germany for several weeks or month before returning h to their home countries for a given period of time. 

These often precarious working conditions got aggravated during the Covid-19 pandemic and by the measures of the German government and administration, e.g. travel bans, border controls, two-week quarantine obligations.

For their article Safuta and Noack also analysed discussions among migrant care workers in social media. They found, that "[t]he pandemic created tensions between carers who wanted to keep working and those who accused them of putting themselves and others unnecessarily at risk or accepting the unacceptable."

Read the full article "A pandemic, and then what? The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on migrant care workers in Germany" at Routed Magazine.


Contact:
Kristin Noack
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58604
E-Mail: knoack@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Anna Safuta
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58597
E-Mail: anna.safuta@uni-bremen.de

Homes and care services are highly affected by the pandemic. Nearly half of the services report that outpatient care is at risk.

A nine-member team from the Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research (IPP) and the SOCIUM Research Centre Inequality and Social Policy, led by Karin Wolf-Ostermann and CRC member Heinz Rothgang, conducted a nationwide online survey in outpatient and inpatient nursing facilities. Data are now available from 701 nursing services, 96 semi-inpatient and 824 residential institutions.

Nursing homes, as well as nursing services, are affected to a high degree by COVID-19 cases, both among employees and among those in need of care. Based on data from the Robert Koch Institute for May 5, 2020, more than 60 percent of deaths nationwide are attributable to residents of nursing homes (49 %) or clients of outpatient care services (12 %) - their share of all infected persons is only 8.5 percent. It is remarkable that 80 percent of all nursing homes had no confirmed COVID-19 cases. The cases are therefore concentrated in a few facilities, but these are then usually severely affected.

Almost every fifth nursing home and every tenth outpatient nursing service is affected by cases of employee illness. The proportion of sick people is six times higher among employees in nursing homes than in the normal population, and twice as high among employees in outpatient nursing services.

About half of all nursing services and more than two thirds of all nursing homes report staff absences of up to 10% due to the corona virus. In one sixth of the nursing homes, the absence of personnel is even more than 10%. Bottlenecks with regard to personal protective equipment for employees or surface disinfectants were originally very large. In the meantime, the situation has eased somewhat, although one in four nursing services and one in six nursing homes still complain about too little protective equipment.

Up to now, nursing homes have been the main focus of media coverage. However, just under half of all outpatient services report that the care of those who have been cared for up to now is at risk, unstable or even not guaranteed. "The fact that so little attention is being paid to home care is worrying in light of this," the report states.

From the perspective of the research team, the survey reveals the following: In order to be able to guarantee the reliability of care, the demands of care services and inpatient facilities must be met. This includes nationwide and practical recommendations for action, a permanent adequate supply of protective and disinfectant agents, systematic and regular testing of residents and staff, as well as better remuneration for nursing staff and improved staffing.

You can download the full report on the results of the survey of care facilities during the Corona pandemic here (German only)


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

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