The research focus of the chair is the cross-national comparison of political economy and economic and social policies as well as quantitative methods. In addition to comparative welfare state research in European countries, there is also a special focus on the analysis of social security systems in countries of the Global South, so-called developing and emerging countries. In this context, the connection between colonialism and the emergence of social policy is examined, as well as the influence of war on the design of social policy systems. On the methodological level, we primarily apply quantitative methods such as panel data analyses and spatial econometrics.
Armed Conflict and Dynamics of Social Policy
Principal investigators: Herbert Obinger (University of Bremen), Carina Schmitt (University Bamberg)
Grant amount: 488.140 EUR
Collaborative Research Center Global Dynamics of Social Policy, German Research Foundation
The effect of wars on the dynamics of social policies has been discussed and increasingly analysed in the welfare state literature for Western industrialized countries in recent years. However, the relationship between armed conflicts and welfare state development has hardly been studied for other regions of the world. Moreover, previous research has not systematically distinguished between the effects of different forms of conflict. In this project, we therefore investigate the impact of different conflict types, such as interstate wars, civil wars, and the Cold War, on the generosity and coverage of social policies in a global perspective. The focus is on old-age security, the health care system, as well as on family, unemployment, and war victim benefits. We argue that all violent conflicts tend to negatively affect social policies in the short run, leading to cuts in the scope of generosity and restrictions in the degree of inclusiveness. The medium- and long-term consequences of war, on the other hand, vary (i) in dependence of the type of violent conflict, (ii) in the intensity of the conflict, and (iii) in domestic contextual factors such as the level of economic development.
We examine the impact of armed conflicts on the coverage and generosity of social policies from World War I, as the primordial catastrophe of the 20th century, up to the present. We distinguish between the war preparation phase, the short-term effects on social policies during the conflict phase and the medium- and long-term consequences after the end of the conflict. The influence of interstate wars, civil wars, and the Cold War on social policies is examined quantitatively for a global sample, and in-depth analyses are conducted for selected countries (Angola, Bulgaria, Germany, Peru, Serbia/Yugoslavia). These case studies reconstruct in detail the social policy decision-making processes in different conflict phases and for different conflict types.
The Legacy of Colonialism: Origins and Outcomes of Social Protection
Principal Investigator: Carina Schmitt (University Bamberg)
Grant amount: 1.486.000 EUR
European Research Council, ERC Starting Grant
Social protection has been one of the most popular instruments for promoting human development across the globe. However, the great majority of the global population is not or only partly covered by social protection. Especially in developing countries it is often the very poorest who do not receive essential social benefits. This is highly problematic since inclusive social protection is assumed to be a key factor for national productivity, global economic growth and domestic stability. Social protection in many developing countries can be traced back to colonial times. Surprisingly, the influence of colonialism has been a blind spot for existing theories and empirical studies of comparative social policy. In this project it is argued that the colonial legacy in terms of the imperial strategy of the colonial power, the characteristics of the colonized society and the interplay between the two is crucial in explaining early and contemporary social protection. Hence, the main objective of this project is to systematically understand how colonialism has shaped the remarkable differences in social protection and its postcolonial outcomes. Given the paucity of our information and understanding of social protection in former colonies, an interactive dataset on the characteristics, origins and outcomes of social protection will be developed including comprehensive data on former British and French colonies from the beginning of the 20th century until today. The dataset will be backed by insights derived from four case studies elucidating the causal mechanisms between the colonial legacy and early and contemporary social protection. The proposed project breaks new ground by improving our understanding of why social protection in some developing countries has led to more inclusive societies while reinforcing existing inequalities in others. Such an understanding is a prerequisite in informing the contemporary struggle against poverty and social inequalit
Schmitt, Carina (Hg.), 2020: From Colonialism to International Aid. External Actors and Social Protection in the Global South, Global Dynamics of Social Policy/1, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1 (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1
Schmitt, Carina, 2019: The Coverage of Social Protection in the Global South, in: International Journal of Social Welfare, 29 (1), S. 6 - 19, doi:10.1111/ijsw.12374 (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijsw.12374)
Schmitt, Carina, 2020: The Warfare – Welfare Nexus in French African colonies in the course of the First and Second World War, in: Historical Social Research, 45 (2), S. 217 - 238, doi:10.12759/hsr.45.2020.2.217-238 (https://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/66906?locale-attribute=en)
Schmitt, Carina, 2020: External actors and social protection in the Global South: An overview, in: Carina Schmitt (Hg.), From Colonialism to International Aid. Understanding the Role of External Actors in Social Protection in the Global South, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 3 - 18, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1_1 (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1_1)
Schmitt, Carina, 2020: The colonial legacy and the Rise of Social Assistance in the Global South, in: Carina Schmitt (Hg.), From Colonialism to International Aid. Understanding the Role of External Actors in Social Protection in the Global South, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 137 - 160, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1_6 (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1_6)
Schmitt, Carina; Becker, Bastian; Ebeling, Judith M.; Shriwise, Amanda, 2020: Critical Assessment and Outlook, in: Schmitt, Carina (Hg.), From Colonialism to International Aid. Understanding the Role of External Actors in Social Protection in the Global South, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 357 - 376, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1_14 (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-38200-1_14)
Measuring the global dynamics of social policy and cross-national interdependencies. Co-creating the Global Welfare State Information System (WeSIS)
Establishment of a comprehensive interactive, web-based information system on global development dynamics of social policy - Global Welfare State Information System (WeSIS). WeSIS consists of three data components: welfare state indicators, indicators on country-specific characteristics, and indicators on linkages between countries and between countries and international organizations.
The project also addresses the question of how sociopolitical development dynamics and interdependencies as well as their interrelationships can be measured and mapped in the best possible data-based manner.
Principal Investigators: Andreas Breiter, Ivo Mossig, Carina Schmitt
Grant amount: 929.700 EUR
Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (German Research Foundation)
Windzio, Michael; Mossig, Ivo; Besche-Truthe, Fabian; Seitzer, Helen (Hg.), 2022: Networks and Geographies of Global Social Policy Diffusion. Culture, Economy and Colonial Legacies, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, doi:10.1007%2F978-3-030-83403-6
Düpont, Nils; Kavasoglu, Berker; Lührmann, Anna; Reuter, Ora J., 2021: A Global Perspective on Party Organizations. Validating the Varieties of Party Identity and Organization Dataset (V-Party), in: Electoral Studies, doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2021.102423 (link: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0261379421001359)
Düpont, Nils; Rachuj, Martin, 2021: The ties that bind. Text similarities and the conditional diffusion of party policies, in: British Journal of Political Science, S. 1 - 18, doi:10.1017/S0007123420000617 (link: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science/article/ties-that-bind-text-similarities-and-conditional-diffusion-among-parties/FF43DC2E4A56F2AB5978E2859A5B3F6A)
Molina León, Gabriela; Breiter, Andreas, 2020: Co-creating Visualizations: A First Evaluation with Social Science Researchers, in: Computer Graphics Forum, 39 (3), doi:10.1111/cgf.13981 (link: https://diglib.eg.org/bitstream/handle/10.1111/cgf13981/v39i3pp291-302.pdf )
The constitution of the welfare state in global perspective. Determinants of Social Security Programs
Since the beginnings of the welfare state in Western Europe and the formation of the British settler colonies in the 19th century, social protection systems have spread widely around the world. This sub-project focuses on the national and international determinants responsible for the introduction and spread of social security programs around the globe. We focus primarily on social security systems that provide transfer benefits for disability, sickness, old age, and unemployment. We argue that the adoption of a social protection program is influenced not only by political and socioeconomic conditions within a country, but also by a country's economic, political, and cultural relations with other countries. Other international influences on social policy legislative processes include violent relations such as colonialism and war, and countries' membership in international organizations relevant to social policy.
Principal Investigators: Herbert Obinger, Carina Schmitt, Laura Seelkopf
Grant amount: 459.400 EUR
Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (German Research Foundation)
Béland, Daniel; Morgan, Kimberly; Obinger, Herbert; Pierson, Christopher (Hg.), 2021: The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State. 2. Aufl., Oxford: Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199579396.001.0001 (Link: https://academic.oup.com/edited-volume/34386)
Genschel, Philipp; Seelkopf, Laura (Hg.), 2021: Global Taxation. How Modern Taxes Conquered the World, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Obinger, Herbert; Petersen, Klaus; Starke, Peter (Hg.), 2018: Warfare & Welfare. Military Conflict and Welfare State Development in Western Countries, Oxford: Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/oso/9780198779599.001.0001 (link: https://academic.oup.com/book/7379)
Obinger, Herbert; Schmitt, Carina, 2021: Unemployment Insurance in the Global South since 1950: Drivers of Policy Adoption, in: Global Social Policy Global Social Policy, online first, doi:10.1177/14680181211049654 (link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14680181211049654 )
Schmitt, Carina; Lierse, Hanna; Obinger, Herbert, 2020: Funding Social Protection: Mapping and explaining welfare state financing in a global perspective, in: Global Social Policy, 20 (2), S. 143 - 164, doi:10.1177/1468018120906671 (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1468018120906671 )
Schmitt, Carina; Obinger, Herbert, 2020: World Wars and Welfare Legislation in Western Countries, in: Journal of European Social Policy, 30 (3), S. 261-274, doi:10.1177/0958928719892852 (link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0958928719892852 )
Obinger, Herbert; Schmitt, Carina, 2020: Total war and the emergence of unemployment insurance in western countries, in: Journal of European Public Policy, 27 (12), S. 1879 - 1901, doi:10.1080/13501763.2019.1696388 (link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13501763.2019.1696388 )
Obinger, Herbert; Schmitt, Carina, 2018: The impact of the Second World War on postwar social spending, in: European Journal of Political Research, 57 (2), S. 496 - 517, doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12236 (link: https://ejpr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6765.12236 )
Obinger, Herbert; Schmitt, Carina, 2022: Black Swans and the Emergence of Unemployment Insurance in the First Half of the 20th Century, in: Nullmeier, Frank; González de Reufels, Delia; Obinger, Herbert (Hg.), International Impacts on Social Policy. Short Histories in a Global Perspective, Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 317 - 329, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-86645-7_25 (link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-86645-7_25)
Obinger, Herbert, 2020: Die sozialpolitischen Folgen des Ersten Weltkriegs. Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz im Vergleich, in: Careja, Romana; Emmenegger, Patrick; Giger, Nathalie (Hg.), The European Social Model Under Pressure, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 207 - 227, doi:10.1007/978-3-658-27043-8_13 (link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-27043-8_13 )