Social Changes, Social Policy and the State

This high-profile area in the Social Sciences investigates the political and social implications for welfare society and the state caused by the increasing pressures of globalization and liberalization, new forms of socio-political integration on national, European, and global levels, as well as multiple internal instabilities. The research focus lies on inequality, social policy, and social statehood.

Since the first phase of the Excellence Initiative, this area of research has been the domain of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), which is run jointly by the University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen. With its focus on social and political integration, BIGSSS has become a leading European address for young researchers. Prior to this, in 2003 the areas of Political Science, Law and Economics were granted the Collaborative Research Center CRC 597 “Transitions of the State”. Research reports (e.g. a series published by Palgrave) and research readers (e.g. published by Edward Elgar) have given these institutions a high level of international visibility.

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Die BIGSSS setzt mit drei „Reference Collections” Ausbildungs-Weltstandards. Die hier gezeigte “Collection” erscheint 12/2011.

At the center of this high-profile area is the university’s Center for Social Policy Research (ZeS), founded in 1988. This is the only German research institute that carries out interdisciplinary research in all areas of social policy. Combining fundamental as well as applied research activities, ZeS is intensively networked at national and international levels.

In 2010 an Emmy Noether Research Training Group has been established in the field of social policy; an additional one at the Institute of Intercultural and International Studies has been investigating the topic “Global Governance”. The strength and quality of the Social Sciences in Bremen rest on a priority program on survey methodology and on a long-term program funded by the DFG on relationships and family dynamics („pairfam“), both embedded in the EMPAS institute of sociological research. With a 14-year runtime, “pairfam” is a representative, multidisciplinary longitudinal study that investigates German family lifestyles and the relationships between partners.

In 2010 a “Center for Transnational Studies” (ZenTra) was set up at the Hanse Institute of Advanced Studies in cooperation with the University of Oldenburg. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the federal states of Bremen and Lower Saxony, the ZenTra researchers investigate how national societies are growing together across borders (“transnationalization”). This has created a new institutional form to promote cooperation between universities in the North West of Germany, supplementing a collaborative research center and the excellent BIGSSS Graduate School.

  • Sfb 186 88-01: „Statuspassagen“ andersSfb 186 88-01: „Statuspassagen“ anders
  • Sfb Statuspassagen 95: GruppenbildSfb Statuspassagen 95: Gruppenbild
  • „Günter! Die Soziologen kommen!“„Günter! Die Soziologen kommen!“
  • Soziologie: Vom Kopf auf Füße stellenSoziologie: Vom Kopf auf Füße stellen
  • Sfb 597 03-14: Staatlichkeit im WandelSfb 597 03-14: Staatlichkeit im Wandel
  • „Nationalstaat, zerfasert“„Nationalstaat, zerfasert“
  • Leviathan 2005/1651: CUP stellt Sfb vorLeviathan 2005/1651: CUP stellt Sfb vor
  • Der Sfb ist = seine MitarbeitendenDer Sfb ist = seine Mitarbeitenden
  • TranState Buchreihe: 21 Bände seit 2007TranState Buchreihe: 21 Bände seit 2007
  • Rechtstheorie & -soziologie: Oxford 2010Rechtstheorie & -soziologie: Oxford 2010
  • Ein Bremer Forschungs-master seit 2004Ein Bremer Forschungs-master seit 2004
  • ZeS-Noether Rentengruppe Scherger 2010ZeS-Noether Rentengruppe Scherger 2010
  • Gesundheitspolitik im VergleichGesundheitspolitik im Vergleich
  • Health Research: Werder hilft 1985/86Health Research: Werder hilft 1985/86
  • OUP Welfare State Handbook 2010OUP Welfare State Handbook 2010
  • Dieter Senghaas 05 zum 65. vom LeviathanDieter Senghaas 05 zum 65. vom Leviathan
  • Noether Governance-Gruppe Dingwerth 2010Noether Governance-Gruppe Dingwerth 2010
  • Exellenz-Ini „1.1“: Die BIGSSS 2007 ff.Exellenz-Ini „1.1“: Die BIGSSS 2007 ff.
  • BIGSSS Eröffnung 08: Gründer & SpitzenBIGSSS Eröffnung 08: Gründer & Spitzen
  • Ernte ′09: Promovierte der Pilot-GSSSErnte ′09: Promovierte der Pilot-GSSS
  • BIGSSS setzt Ausbil-dungs-WeltstandardsBIGSSS setzt Ausbil-dungs-Weltstandards
  • Nordwest-Sowis wachsen im HWK zusammenNordwest-Sowis wachsen im HWK zusammen
Institutions involved in the high-profile area.

Research topics and participating institutions


Instability panoramas of modern societies

·        Research network “Welfare Societies” Link

·        Welfare State Futures Link

Multi-level analysis of welfare societies 

·        Research network “Welfare Societies” Link

·        Welfare State Futures Link

Social inequality & institutional dynamics

·        ZeS Link

·        EMPAS Link

·        Research network “Welfare Societies” Link

·        Welfare State Futures Link

Partnership and family dynamics

·        Pairfam Link

·        BIGSSS Link

Future of the welfare state

·        Welfare State Futures Link

·        ZeS Link 

·        BIGSSS Link

Health policy

·        CRC 597, C3 Link

·        Welfare State Futures Link

Education policy

·        Sfb 597, C4 Link

·        Welfare State Futures Link

“Mediatization” and media culture

·        Sfb 597, B3 Link

·        ZeMKI Link

Migration in climate change

·        Migremus Link

Transnationalization of societies

·        ZenTra Link

Internationalization and regionalization of statehood

·        Sfb 597 Link

·        BIGSSS Link

·        CEuS Link

Range and pattern of surveys

·        BIGSSS Link

·        Survey Methodology Link

·        MSW – University of Oldenburg Link

The research area is right at the top of the DFG funding rankings; namely Position 1 in the Social Sciences according to absolute figures (Political Science/Socilogy) and Position 2 in Law. This puts the University of Bremen among the leading European and international centers for research cooperation on welfare states in globalization (Welfare States’ Futures) and its research activities in the area of transnationalization processes (ZenTra) are fast developing a second high level specialty.

Selected publications

Calliess, Gralf (mit Peer Zumbansen, Osgoode Law School, York U, Toronto) (2010) Rough Consensus and Running Code: A Theory of Transnational Private Law, Oxford: Hart Publishing (Rezension: Roger Cotterrell, Law & Social Inquiry 2012, 37 (2): 500-524, hier 509-521)

Dingwerth, Klaus (2007) The New Transnationalism: Transnational Governance and Democratic Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (Series Transformations of the State = Sfb 597 – Rezension: Anna Ohanyan, International Studies Review 2008, 10 (4): 816-818; Leiter einer Emmy-Noether Nachwuchsgruppe)

Dingwerth, Klaus (mit Philipp Pattberg, Freie Universität Amsterdam) (2006) Global Governance as a Perspective on World Politics, Global Governance 12 (6): 185-203 (Leiter einer Emmy-Noether Nachwuchsgruppe)

Gottschall, Karin (mit Sylvia Walby, Lancaster U, UK; Heidi Gottfried, Wayne State U, USA; und Mari Osawa, U of Tokyo, Japan), Hg. (2007/2009), Gendering the New Economy – Comparative Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (darin von KG “Self-employment in comparative perspective: General trends and the case of new media”, S.163-187) (Rezension: Helen Carr, International Sociology 2009, 24 (5): 773)

Huinink, Johannes (mit Walter Heinz und Ansgar Weymann, UB Emeriti), Hg. (2009) The Life Course Reader. Individuals and Societies across Time, Frankfurt a.M.: Campus (einer von drei BIGSSS Forschungs-Readern; eine weitere Forschungseinführung gilt der Theorie des Wohlfahrtsstaates: Stephan Leibfried und Steffen Mau, Hg. (2008) Welfare States: Construction, Deconstruction, Reconstruction, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 3 Bände); s.a. Nr. 12)

Huinink, Johannes, und Michael Feldhaus (2009) Family research from the life course perspective, International Sociology 24 (3): 299-324

Leibfried, Stephan, und Herbert Obinger (mit Frances G. Castles, ANU, Australien; Jane Lewis, LSE, UK; und Christopher Pierson, U of Nottingham, UK), Hg. (2010/2012) The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press (mit einer Reihe von Bremer Kapiteln von Stephan Leibfried, Frank Nullmeier, Herbert Obinger, Karl Hinrichs und Heinz Rothgang – Rezension Martin Powell, Social Policy and Administration 2011, 45 (3), 319-323; der Folgeband The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State, Hg. u.a. Stephan Leibfried und Frank Nullmeier, erscheint 2014)

Lundan, Sarianna M. (2011) The co-evolution of transnational corporations and institutions, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 18 (2): 639-663

Manow, Philip (2010) In the King's Shadow. The Political Anatomy of Democratic Representation, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press (Rezension dt. Fassung: Alexandra Kemmerer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 25.7.2008, S. 18)

Martens, Kerstin (mit Anja P. Jakobi, jetzt HSFK, FfM), Hg. (2010) Mechanisms of OECD Governance – International Incentives for National Policy Making, Oxford: Oxford University Press (darin KM & APJ “Introduction: The OECD as an Actor in International Politics”, S. 1-25; APJ & KM, “Expanding and Intensifying Governance: The OECD in Education Policy”, S. 163-179; Janna Teltemann, “The Activities of the OECD in International Migration: How to Become a Relevant Actor in an Emerging Policy Field”, S. 241-259; APJ & KM, “Conclusion: Findings, Implications and Outlook of OECD Governance”, S. 260-279) (Rezension: Tord Skogedal Lindén, Journal of European Social Policy 2011, 21 (4): 382-383)

Obinger, Herbert, und Carina Schmitt (2011) Guns and butter? Regime competition and the welfare state during the Cold War, World Politics 63 (2): 246-270

Peter Mayer (mit Rainer Baumann, jetzt U Duisburg; und Bernhard Zangl, jetzt LMU) (2011) International  Relations: The Great Debates, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 3 Bände (Forschungseinführung in die Theorie der Internationalen Beziehungen für die Bremer Graduiertenschule BIGSSS; s.a. Nr. 6)

Scherger, Simone  (2011) Leisure activities and retirement: Do structures of inequality change in old age?, Ageing and society 31 (1): 146 -172 (Leiterin einer Emmy-Noether Nachwuchsgruppe)

Schimank, Uwe (2011) Against all odds: The ‘loyalty’ of small investors, Socio-Economic Review 9 (1), 197-135

Schmidt, Susanne K. (mit R. Daniel Kelemen, Rutgers U, USA), Hg. (2012) Perpetual Momentum? Reconsidering the Power of the European Court of Justice, Journal of European Public Policy, Special Issue 19 (1) (von SKS: Introduction, 1-7 und „Who Cares about Nationality? The Path-dependent Case Law of the ECJ from Goods to Citizens“, 8-24)

Schneider, Steffen, Frank Nullmeier und Achim Wiesner (mit Achim Hurrelmann, jetzt Carleton U, Kanada; Zuzana Krell-Laluhová, jetzt Brüssel, EU) (2010) Democracy's Deep Roots: Why the Nation State Remains Legitimate, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (Series Transformations of the State = Sfb 597; Rezension: Joachim Blatter, Politische Vierteljahresschrift 2011, 52 (2): 328-330)

Steffen Mau (mit Roland Verwiebe, U Wien) (2010) European Societies. Mapping Structure and Change, Bristol, UK: Policy Press (Rezension: Martin Heidenreich, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 2011, 63 (4): 702-704)

Traub, Stefan (mit Christian Seidl, U Kiel; und Kirill Pogorelskiy, Caltech, USA) (2012) Tax Progression in OECD Countries: An Integrative Analysis of Tax Schedules and Income Distributions (Berlin usf.: Springer; im Erscheinen)

Windzio, Michael (2012) Integration of immigrant children into inter-ethnic friendship networks: The role of ‘intergenerational openness’, Sociology 46 (2): 258-271

Zimmermann, Jochen (mit Igor Goncharov, jetzt WHU, Vallendar; und Jörg R. Werner, jetzt Frankfurt School of Finance) (2009) Legislative demands and economic realities: Company and group accounts compared, The International Journal of Accounting 44 (4): 334-362