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.

Julia Moses, PhD
Julia Moses, PhD
32 doctoral students from 14 countries will present and discuss their research projects at the Haus der Wissenschaft Bremen in the coming days. Julia Moses from the University of Sheffield gave the opening lecture on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, Herbert Obinger opened the 11th NordWel Summer School, which takes place at the Haus der Wissenschaft in Bremen and is hosted by CRC 1342. The Summer School brings together 32 doctoral students from 14 countries. They all do research on social policy issues and will present and discuss their work in smaller groups over the next five days. They will receive feedback from other doctoral students as well as from renowned scientists.

The opening lecture was given by Julia Moses, Reader at the Department of History of the University of Sheffield. She spoke about the development of family policy in Europe from the 18th to the 20th century, the aims and tools of which depended largely on the prevailing ideal of the family. The other keynotes will be given by Daniel Béland, Stephen Devereux, Patrick Emmenegger, Asa Lundqvist, Carina Schmitt and Reimut Zohlnhöfer.

The complete programme of the 11th NordWel Summer School can be found here.

The NordWel Summer School is a joint venture of the Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy", the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), the Danish Centre of Welfare Studies and the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki.


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

The Collaborative Research Centre 1342 and Palgrave McMillan are publishing a new book series. The first volumes will be released in early 2020.

The CRC 1342 and Palgrave McMillan launched this series in order to publish research findings produced within CRC 1342, as well as from external colleagues.

This series welcomes studies on the waves, ruptures and transformative periods of welfare state expansion and retrenchment globally, that is, across nation states and the world as well as across history since the inception of the modern Western welfare state in the nineteenth century. 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 Ulriksen (University of Southern Denmark/University of Johannesburg).

Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58561

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

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67498

Dr Teresa Huhle
Dr Teresa Huhle
Teresa Huhle has searched Montevideo's libraries and archives to find out which international influences and relationships have influenced the development of Uruguay's health policy.

Teresa, you were on the road for your project in the spring. Where have you been exactly?

I was in Uruguay for eight weeks, more precisely in the capital Montevideo. My work on the Uruguay case study will take a total of four months of archival work - so this trip was the first half. But two years ago, before the CRC started, I had already been there and made my first explorations, so I was able to start right away this time.

Which archives did you look at?

I mainly worked in the National Library. There is also archive material there, but I mainly worked with old journals. There are also inheritances, old maps, photos ... But in the end I spent most of my time with journals.

Are these scientific journals?

Yes, scientific or government journals that are essential for my work on the development of health care in Uruguay. The Ministry of Health was founded there in 1932, but there had been two important government institutions before that: The Asistencia Pública Nacional and the Consejo Nacional de Higiene. Both institutions had their own journal, which I evaluate. Within the framework of the CRC, we are also investigating transnational influences on national social policy, and there is a lot about this in the journal. For example, it deals with conferences and exploratory trips by high-ranking representatives of these institutions.

What period are you looking at?

During this visit, I decided to take a look at the complete volumes of the journal of the Consejo Nacional de Higiene, i.e. 1906 to 1931, in order to understand how the institution had changed.

That's 26 years. How extensive are they?

The journal was published monthly, with a total of about 800 to 1,000 pages per year.

Were you able to browse through all of them?

In the beginning, I tested on the first volume whether it was possible and it turned out that I could actually look through the magazine completely in a decent amount of time. What was interesting for me, I photographed and made notes about it. To leave out the notes is fatal, because you end up with a few thousand photos on your computer and you don't know what they are. That's why I was relatively disciplined. I have bibliographed every photographed text directly and ideally wrote down three sentences about it.

What did you find in the 300 or so issues of the journal?

I looked for international influences and various international and transnational networks in which the actors and institutions were embedded and implemented when reforms were implemented. That is why, for example, I looked for all international conferences with Uruguayan participation. The material was very diverse. Sometimes it just says that someone from Uruguay was attending but other times there are long reports in which the Uruguayan delegate summarised and wrote exactly what he learned at the conference.

So these are certain input factors - do you also control the output? Like: Did these influences have any effect on policy?

My long-term goal is to be able to determine this selectively. At the moment I find it very difficult to distinguish between rhetoric and actual influence. There are currently not many places where I would commit myself to saying: "This conference, this trip to Europe or this visit to Argentina has ensured that Uruguay has introduced this particular law". This is not so easy methodically, but it would certainly be the next step.

How do you analyse your gathered material now?

At the moment, I am compiling what kind of connections, networks and forms of exchange existed. I also look at how the Uruguayan reformers reflected on their own actions, such as the assessment: "I was in Holland, I was shown the following, but that's not something we can do". But there is also the opposite verdict: "I think that is exactly what we have to implement now". Whether and how they then did that is another question, but it is nice to see that these international exchange processes are explicitly addressed in the sources.

Which countries and international organisations have had the greatest influence on Uruguay's health policy?

International congresses were very important, both in Europe and in the Americas.

At universities?

No, these were, for example, the "International Congresses on Hygiene and Demography". Since the middle of the 19th century, these have taken place in Europe with several hundred participants each - they were the most important congresses worldwide for all questions of hygiene and public health. Other international medical congresses related to public health, such as tuberculosis congresses or international congresses on sexually transmitted diseases, were also important. In the 1920s, the League of Nations became relatively important as an international forum, as the health organisation of the League of Nations organised international exchange trips. As far as individual countries are concerned, for example, there was a very close exchange with Argentina.

Was Argentina a role model or was Uruguay an equal partner?

Geopolitically, Uruguay was the small buffer state between the two great powers Argentina and Brazil. But in exchange for health policy reforms, Uruguay was definitely at eye level.
Were there other countries that were important?
Yes, Brazil, and in Europe France played a special role, because there was a long tradition that Uruguayan doctors completed their training or parts of it in France.

It is surprising that it was not Spain ...

France was the great cultural role model for the Uruguayan elite, and in medicine in particular. As early as the middle of the 19th century, Uruguayan physicians - financed by the state - went to Paris. These doctors all knew French, as did the politicians. There are also medical books that were only published in French. That is quite remarkable. That's why France plays an important role in this health sector.

What else were important points on your trip?

There are other libraries that are important to me, but not well catalogued. So you have to know what you can find there and consult with the librarians. In order to get this information in advance, I contacted colleagues in Montevideo, especially from the history of medicine.

What happens now with your work and your entire project?

In 2019, all members of the project including the director Delia González de Reufels are on the road a lot and come back with a lot of material from archives and libraries as well as new ideas. We also have a new team member: Simon Gerards Iglesias, who is now going on archive trips. I am currently working on a lecture and will continue my research in the United States in August. In March 2020, I will travel to Uruguay again. This spring I still had the luxury to know: I will come back again. But next year things will get serious: I'll have to think about exactly what I'll need from there beforehand.

Dr. Teresa Huhle
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Sommerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57062

Sebastian Haunss, director of project A04, is conducting research on social conflicts. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung he explains why the "Fridays for Future" movement is so successful and what tangible political results can be expected.

"SZ: Let's say I'm really annoyed about the reconstruction of Munich Central Station. How would I have to protest to stop it?

Sebastian Haunss: Well, there is no clear answer to that from a scientific perspective. Previous studies, for example of the anti-nuclear movement, have shown that a large and long-lasting mobilisation is important, the support of political elites and a majority of the population in favour of the cause. It is helpful to have an open opportunity structure, i.e. opportunities to be heard in the political system. The German system is relatively open because the municipal, federal and national levels each provide access. In the case of the anti-nuclear movement, Chernobyl was also an event that contributed to its success. But there is very little overarching research on conditions for success - and the research that exists cannot be applied to any protest.

So: If many people join in, if others approve of the cause and if a few politicians listen ...".

For copyright reasons, we cannot reproduce the entire interview on this page. You can find the complete text here at Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German only).

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Haunss
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58572

Open Campus 2019
Open Campus 2019
On 15 June, the University of Bremen had invited to an Open Day. Together with other social science research institutions, the CRC 1342 organised a colourful programme of events.

Pictures of the event you can find here.

Philipp Jarke
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58573

Mareike Müller-Scheffsky
Mareike Müller-Scheffsky
As the first CRC 1342 intern, Mareike Müller-Scheffsky spent three months working in the project A05. In this interview, she talks about her experience and future plans.

In her 6th semester, Mareike Müller-Scheffsky is studying sociology at the Universiry of Bremen. 8 weeks of full-time internship are part of the curriculum. Mareike chose to spend that time in our project "The Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems", working 25 hours per week. Therefore her internship lasted for three months.

How did you decide to do an internship at the CRC?

I'm simply very interested in research and I'm in the process of specialising within my studies, also with regard to my Bachelor's thesis. I've done a lot of sociological political theory so far, but I also wanted to get an insight into political science to see if I wanted to move in that direction. That's why I applied to the project leader Kerstin Martens.

What did you do during your internship?

I was well involved in the project and worked on various things. Looking back, there were three phases: In the beginning I worked on similar tasks as the student assistants in the project: mainly collecting data and creating country profiles. Then I wrote a manual for the work on the country profiles, based on my experiences and those of the student assistants. Helen Seitzer and Fabian Besche, with whom I mainly worked during my internship, wanted something in writing to guide new assistants. However, the manual also serves as an intersubjective tool for the colleagues from the other subprojects. I was very free in my work and also wrote quite a lot - about 25 pages.

What was the third phase of your internship?

I worked statistically. I received a half-finished CSV file with data on the introduction date and duration of compulsory primary education, which I was then able to complete for the most part. Then the data had to be transferred to R, which was new for me. I had no experience with R up to that point. In R, I converted the data set to another format so that certain things could be displayed. I did a missing analysis and looked, for example: In which years do we have no data at all? Later I made many graphs on the topic of how and when compulsory education got introduced in the countries. I had 214 countries with data for a period from 1880 to 2017. It is not easy to present this clearly. But after the coding it worked quite well and can also be used in the project for further analysis.

So, you were able to learn something from the internship.

Absolutely. During our sociology studies we worked almost exclusively with the Stata software and only with perfect data sets. Using R was instructive. But it was also important to see that quite simple tasks in practice can suddenly get quite complicated. Then you have to bite your way through it. Apart from the work I have just desribed, I went to many meetings during the internship, to a multi-project retreat and a co-creation workshop. In this way I also got to know the other CRC projects. At the workshop I had to explain what I was currently working on. It was difficult to explain spot on to the computer scientists involved in the CRC what I was currently working on, but it worked. Anyway, I was impressed by the great charts they made out of it.

Would you recommend other students to do an internship at CRC 1342?

Definitely! I was very free in my work, which I liked. Helen and Fabian wanted me to do a lot of new and different things in order to learn more. I could get in touch with them at any time, but you also have to do that if you don't make any progress. Because especially if you haven't worked a lot with data sets yet, the tasks can be a challenge. But I didn't feel overtaxed either. It was just about right.

What's the next step for you?

I will graduate with a Bachelor's degree by March 2020. I'm going to do a master's programme after my Bachelor's. In Utrecht there is a quite an interesting social research master’s programme, in Berlin there are interesting programmes, too. Afterwards I would like to stay at university and do something research-centred.

Thank you very much for the interview and good luck for your future!