News

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.

Dr. Alex Veit
Dr. Alex Veit
Our CRC member edited a special section on "The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender Based Violence".

Alex Veit guest-edited the special section entitled "The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender Based Violence" in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding (Vol. 13,4). The section is part of the research project "International Intervention against sexualised violence in conflict regions. Intended and unintended consequences", funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Project member Lisa Tschörner co-authored one of the articles.

Contents:

Feminism in the Humanitarian Machine. Introduction to the Special Section on "The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender-based Violence"

by Alex Veit

Abstract: The prevention and mitigation of sexual and gender-based violence in (post-) conflict societies has become an important humanitarian activity. This introductory article examines the analytical discourses on these interventions, the institutionalization of SGBV expertise in international politics, and the emancipatory potential of anti-SGBV practices. It argues that the confluence of feminist professional activism and militarized humanitarian interventionism produced specific international activities against SGBV. As part of the institutionalization of gender themes in international politics, feminist emancipatory claims have been taken up by humanitarian organizations. The normal operating state of the humanitarian machine, however, undercuts its potential contribution to social transformation towards larger gender equality in (post-) conflict societies.

"A Real Woman Waits" – Heteronormative Respectability, Neo-Liberal Betterment and Echoes of Coloniality in SGBV Programming in Eastern DR Congo

by Charlotte Mertens and Henri Myrttinen

Drawing on archival and field research, this article critically examines the production and distribution of gender roles and expectations in SGBV programming, in particular in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We find the underlying currents in some of these programmes reinscribe heteronormativity and focus on individual betterment which resonates with regulating gender and sexuality during colonialism. In some cases, strongly western-inspired norms of individual agency have been introduced, disregarding structural constraints of people’s lives. To conclude, we explore alternative approaches to SGBV prevention, ones in which international approaches are re-defined and vernacularized for local use – but which also at times inform global understandings.

"Without Education You Can Never Become President": Teenage Pregnancy and Pseudo-empowerment in Post-Ebola Sierra Leone

by Anne Menzel

This article analyses the emergence of ‘teenage pregnancy’ as a new policy focus in post-Ebola Sierra Leone and explores how Sierra Leoneans interpret the problem of ‘teenage pregnancy’. I argue that the new policy focus is not indicative of changing or new problems. Rather, ‘teenage pregnancy’ has created opportunities for donors and the Government of Sierra Leone to continue cooperation in gender politics. At the same time, Sierra Leoneans are clearly concerned about ‘teenage pregnancy’, and many agree with sensitization campaigns that responsibilize young women and girls while downplaying structural factors that render them vulnerable to arrangements involving transactional sex.

Creative appropriation: academic knowledge and interventions against sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

by Alex Veit and Lisa Tschörner

Recent academic research has questioned assumptions about sexual violence in (post-) conflict contexts. Gender norms rather than military decision-making have been found to constitute a major underlying reason for wartime sexual violence. In this contribution, we investigate whether international organisations seeking to prevent sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo have accordingly changed their analytical perspectives and modified policies and programming. We find that many, but not all, such organisations creatively appropriate new academic work in their policy and project documents. However, incentives for continuity in the humanitarian field have slackened the pace of any substantive practical changes.


Contact:
Dr. Alex Veit
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67471
E-Mail: veit@uni-bremen.de

Immanuel Wallerstein (Screenshot of www.iwallerstein.com)
Immanuel Wallerstein (Screenshot of www.iwallerstein.com)
In his major work "The Modern World-System", the American sociologist analysed the development and effects of global capitalism. Wallerstein died at the age of 88.

The American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein died on August 31, 2019. Wallerstein's main work, "The Modern World-System", comprises four volumes in which he analysed the development of global capitalism from the 16th century to the present day. The accumulation of political power and capital has consolidated and intensified global asymmetries, leading to the formation of centers, peripheries and semi-peripheries.

Wallerstein's work was particularly influenced by the fact that he considered nation states to be unsuitable as a unit for the analysis of society. "I sought to produce ... a detailed critique of why both national development and developmentalism as an explanatory model (modernization theory) are illusions" (Immanuel Wallerstein: The Development of an Intellectual Position). International dependencies and interactions did not stop at national borders and should therefore be included in social science analysis. This had to be "simultaneously historic and systemic, if it were to grapple seriously with the description and explanation of the real world."

Wallerstein taught and conducted research at Columbia University, McGill University, Binghamton University and Yale University, among others. He was also president of the International Sociological Association in the 1990s.

Wallerstein was active into old age, publishing commentaries on his website every 1st and 15th of a month with absolute dedication. Some time ago, he had set himself the goal of publishing 500 commentaries and then finishing the series. Two months after the 500th entry, Wallerstein died at the age of 88.

The tasks include the transcription of interviews, literature research and data collection (10 hours/week).

Project B07 "Transnational service provision in long-term care between Western and Eastern Europe" of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" (CRC 1342) is seeking to fill one student assistant position for 10 hours per week, starting from 1 November 2019 for a period of two months (extendable).

Led by Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall and Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang, project B07 aims to describe and explain the introduction and expansion of long-term care systems in Western and Central Europe. The project focuses on four country case studies (Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden) as well as three countries of origin of migrant care workers (Poland, Romania and Ukraine).

Tasks:

  • Transcription of interviews in German and English
  • Assistance in data collection, processing and analysis
  • Literature research and management


Requirements:

  • Interest in theoretical and empirical questions pertaining to social policy and labour market research
  • Good knowledge of German and English, as the interviews will be in these languages


What we offer:

  • Insights into an interesting field of work and research
  • Collaboration in a friendly, interdisciplinary team
  • Remuneration at the usual rates for student assistants at the University of Bremen
  • If desired, possibility of longer-term employment and to choose a final thesis’ topic related to the project


Please send your application consisting of a short CV, a letter of motivation and a current grade transcript in pdf form to Kristin Noack (knoack@uni-bremen.de) by 15 September 2019.

The second of the two surveys in Latin America by the Cologne CRC members took place this summer in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

In the Cologne part of project B03, two surveys were carried out - one in Mexico and one in Brazil - in order to gain insights into the connection between trade and social policy at the micro level. The survey covered several dimensions: respondents had the opportunity to provide information on issues such as social policy, trade, migration, security and corruption. With the data, the Cologne team hopes to explore the link between globalisation and socio-political preferences in Brazil, but many other interesting questions can also be addressed.

Franziska Deeg in Sao Paulo.

To accompany the implementation in Brazil, Franziska Deeg, the Cologne PhD student of the B03 project team, spent almost three weeks in Sao Paulo. Together with the opinion research institute IBOPE, she was able to completely adapt the questionnaire to the Brazilian context and the Portuguese language. Furthermore, 30 pre-tests with low-income households were carried out to test the questions and interview training was implemented to reduce interviewer effects.

The team has thus reached another important milestone in the project and can now fully concentrate on evaluating the extensive data sets from the surveys in Mexico and Brazil. The data has been available to the Cologne B03 team since mid-August.


Contact:
Dr. Sarah Berens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: sarah.berens@uni-koeln.de

Franziska Deeg
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: fdeeg@uni-koeln.de

The New School in New York City.
The New School in New York City.
Heiner Fechner, Jean-Yves Gerlitz and Jenny Hahs presented three papers at the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, which took place in New York.

Our project A03 was able to give three presentations at the 31st Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), that took place at The New School in New York City:


Heiner Fechner, Jean-Yves Gerlitz and Jenny Hahs each received very good feedback on their presentations, as Hahs reports. She was also struck by the "inspiring, albeit certainly not uncontroversial, keynote speech" by Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic (Sciences Po, Paris) - "Prometheus to Dionysus: Can We Re-Enchant the Future?", in which she called on scientists to become more activist by saying: "We cannot only keep reading the world and lament ist state, we have to take an active part in changing too!"


Contact:
Dr. Heiner Fechner
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-421-218-57070
E-Mail: hfechner@uni-bremen.de

Jean-Yves Gerlitz
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57088
E-Mail: gerlitz@uni-bremen.de

Jenny Hahs
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57069
E-Mail: jenny.hahs@uni-bremen.de

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.

 


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58567
E-Mail: herbert.obinger@uni-bremen.de

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).


Contact:
Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58561
E-Mail: frisina@uni-bremen.de

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
E-Mail: dgr@uni-bremen.de

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
E-Mail: martensk@uni-bremen.de

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.


Contact:
Dr. Teresa Huhle
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Sommerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57062
E-Mail: teresa.huhle@uni-bremen.de