News from Project A06

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

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

Student Assistant with up to 9 hrs/week

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

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

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


Tasks:

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


Requirements:

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


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

Tobias Böger, boeger@uni-bremen.de and Sonja Drobnič, drobnic@uni-bremen.de


Contact:
Dr. Tobias Böger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58586
E-Mail: tobias.boeger@uni-bremen.de

Simone Tonelli
Simone Tonelli
The political scientist wrote his doctoral thesis in project A06 on the diffusion of family policy programmes, including in East and Southeast Asia.

Simone Tonelli successfully defended his PhD thesis "The Politics of Family Policy in a Global Perspective" on Monday, 24 January 2022. The defence took place in a hybrid format: Tonelli presented his work in Bremen in front of the 7-member examination committee, while the audience was able to follow the presentation and subsequent discussion via video conference.

Simone Tonelli has been a member of the CRC 1342 since 2018 and earned his PhD in project A06 Formation and Diffusion of Family Policy in a Global Perspective, which was completed at the end of 2021. His cumulative doctoral thesis is based on the following articles, among others:

Tonelli, Simone, 2022: What Curbs Social Investment? The Effect of Foreign Electoral Outcomes on Childcare Expenditure Levels, in: Journal of Social Policy, First View , pp. 1 - 21.

Simone Tonelli has been a member of the CRC 1342 since 2018 and did his PhD in the project A06 Formation and Diffusion of Family Policy in a Global Perspective, which was completed at the end of 2021. His cumulative doctoral thesis is based on the following essays, among others:

Tonelli, Simone; Drobnič, Sonja; Huinink, Johannes, 2021: Child-related family policies in East and Southeast Asia: An intra-regional comparison, in: International Journal of Social Welfare, 30 (4), S. 385 – 395.

Böger, Tobias; Son, Keonhi; Tonelli, Simone, 2022: Origins of Family Policy: Prerequisites or Diffusion, in: Windzio, Michael; Mossig, Ivo; Besche-Truthe, Fabian; Seitzer, Helen (Hg.), Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 169 - 193.


Contact:
Simone Tonelli
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58540
E-Mail: si_to@uni-bremen.de

Keonhi Son, Helen Seitzer
Keonhi Son, Helen Seitzer
Seitzer wrote her doctoral thesis in project A05 on transnational education policy, Son in project A06 on the inclusiveness of maternity leave programmes worldwide.

Helen Seitzer defended her PhD thesis on "Conceptualising the Transational Education Policymaking Process from a Relational Perspective" at the beginning of October. She has already published parts of her work in international journals.

Keonhi Son defended her thesis ("The Influence of the ILO Maternity Protection Conventions on the historical development of paid maternity leave in the world") on 25 October 2021. Son argues that informal sector workers, especially women, in the Global South are excluded from the application of international labour standards because of the way states translate and implement these standards. Son was able to test this argument using a database on paid maternity leave in 165 countries between 1883 and 2018, which she had built in collaboration with other members of the A06 project.

Further defences of doctoral theses in CRC 1342 will follow in the coming days and weeks.


Contact:
Dr. Helen Seitzer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57065
E-Mail: seitzer@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Keonhi Son
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58541
E-Mail: son@uni-bremen.de

Son and her co-author Reimut Zohlnhofer received the JCPA Best Comparative Article Award for their paper on the statistical analysis of privatisation and the role of the indicators chosen in the process.

In their paper "Measuring Privatization: Comparing Five Indicators of the Disposition of State-Owned Enterprises in Advanced Democracies", published in Volume 21:4 of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Son and Zohlnhofer examine the use of indicators to determine privatization.

In the scientific literature, numerous such indicators are circulating, most of which are treated as equivalents. However, little attention is paid to whether they actually match each other closely. In their paper, Son and Zohlnhofer state that the correlations between these indicators are alarmingly low. As a consequence, it has been shown that the results of statistical analyses can differ significantly depending on which privatisation indicator is used. Son and Zohlnhofer therefore suggest that the different indicators should not be considered as equivalents but as measurements of different aspects of privatisation.

The jury explained its decision to award the prize to Son and Zohlnhofer with the following words:

"'Measuring Privatization' by Son and Zohlnhöfer takes comparative policy analysis seriously and advances the field by shedding light on the multiple dimensions of different dependent variables/indicators that often have been seen as substitutes for each other. The authors highlight the importance of choosing the right indicators to explain phenomena that analysts seek to understand. They illustrate why scholars using large-N data sometimes end up with inconclusive or mixed results when they ignore this fundamental issue. More importantly, this study of state-owned enterprises has implications for other sectors and comparative approaches to important policy issues. The focus on indicators is widely used in comparative policy analysis, and this article contributes to the policy literature on privatization and to the development of methods in the broader field of comparative policy studies."


Contact:
Dr. Keonhi Son
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58541
E-Mail: son@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Rueyming Tsay
Prof. Rueyming Tsay
Rueyming Tsay is currently staying as Visiting Scholar in project A06 “Formation and diffusion of family policy in a global perspective”

Project A06 is hosting Rueyming Tsay, Professor of Sociology at Tunghai University, Taiwan, who is a leading expert on family issues, particularly aging. His research interests also include social stratification, sociology of education, and quality of life. He has recently worked on a comparative study assessing the effects of family and social engagement on quality of life and health of the elders in Taiwan, China, and the US. The data were collected by research teams of Tunghai University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa to compare the aging process of Chinese in different societies and across cultural boundaries.

Professor Tsay will stay in Bremen until July 2020. His expertise on Asian societies, particularly related to the family culture, provides a valuable background for research performed at CRC.

Countries in East and Southeast Asia experienced an extraordinary pace of demographic and social change over the past five decades. Still, comparative welfare state research and research on family policy in this world region is scarce. It has been argued that trends in marriage and fertility reflect the tension between rapid social and economic changes on the one hand and limited change in family expectations and obligations on the other. Also, retirement arrangement within Asian families has become a significant issue for the policy makers. Demographic trends and Asian approach to social policy and family policy are thus highly contingent on traditional family values and practices.

An opportunity to get to know more about Professor Tsay’s work will also present itself when he will give a presentation at the Jour Fixe lecture series in May 2020.


Contact:
Prof. Sonja Drobnič
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66360
E-Mail: sonja.drobnic@bigsss.uni-bremen.de

Keonhi Son
Keonhi Son
Keonhi Son is especially interested in social policies of emerging countries. In an interview she explains why the shortcomings of the South Korean social system are a major motivating factor for her.

You studied in South Korea and made a bachelor’s degree, but then you gave your career a complete turn-around. Please tell me about it.

I did my bachelor's degree in South Korea and then I started a totally new subject in a different country.

What was your first subject?

My first subject was English literature and I specialised in English theatre. I was quite into it at that time. But at one point I made another decision.

Why? Did you work in that field and did not like it?

I worked a bit for a theatre company and then I went to London to learn a bit more. Then I moved to Germany to study more. But I really didn't like theatre studies in Germany. That was when I realised that literature and theatre may not be the right thing for me. So I started to figure out what my second favourite subject was: public administrative studies or political science - in South Korea both are very mixed.

And that was what you made your master's degree in Heidelberg in.

Yes, in Public Policy.

Political or administrative science is very different to literature and theatre – what is it that you like about the subject so much?

First of all, studying political science was great fun. But secondly South Korea really needs to develop its social policy right now. Because we achieved economic development but the other factors didn't follow up yet. So I wanted to contribute to that. My parents and my relatives for example suffer from the absence of a well-established pension system. Somehow I was thinking: Maybe I can do something about it. Germany was a perfect place for me to study. Because it has quite a long history of social security systems.

I read that South Korea recently made some progress in terms of social policy: They reduced the weekly working hours - from 68 to 52!

Still very much!

Do South Koreans really work that much?

Yes, they do. It's a totally different mindset from European people. People back then had a very high level of job security and at the same time they thought they belonged to the company - they dedicated their life to their company. Even if the company exploited the people. But for a long time the people were okay with that and thought: This is the place I belong to. But now job security in South Korea is very low. Young people do not want to do long hours anymore: "Your are not going to hire me forever, so why should I work for you forever?" The reduction of the working hours is a good sign but at the same time it is sad. Because now job security is very low. Like anywhere else.

What would you like to achieve in your career in the next 30 to 40 years?

That is a very long time. I think in our generation we will have to change our jobs our jobs often. But I really want to be a researcher. I want to study social policy of less developed countries. So the CRC is the perfect project for me because I always wanted to study this subject especially in my region. I am not so sure if I want to BE or BECOME something in terms of career, but I am sure that I want to DO something.

Does that mean that you want to change the South Korean society?

I would like to help a bit. Change is too big a word. I am not that ambitious. I would like at least to provide a good model of social policy that might work. When Europe developed its welfare state, the constellation was completely different to the one we encounter in Soth Korea right now. It is a very different game now. We need to produce a new model of social policy. We can't just copy the European system. Working on the development of such a new system, that is what I want to do.

If you had anything you needed: enough research money, bright colleagues and all the necessary knowledge - which research question would you like to solve?

That is a very big question. I think it's quite similar to what I already told you. The less developed countries are in a situation that they have suffered from financial crisis, rapid globalisation, de-industrialisation, post-industrialisation and so on - with all of these things happening we should know how to develop our social policies, because we developed the social security systems way slower than our economy. And before the private insurance system will dominate the entire system, we should somehow find a way to provide a public social system.


Contact:
Dr. Keonhi Son
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58541
E-Mail: son@uni-bremen.de