The University of Bremen was founded in 1971 on the following guiding principles: the modernization and restructuring of academic autonomy and administration, and interdisciplinary research and teaching. The university employs 1,600 researchers, including 300 tenured professors, and 1,000 administrative and technical staff. The student body amounts to 20,000 students, with 2,500 international students. The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS), one of our partner institutes at the University of Bremen, is considered one of the university’s “Centers of Excellence” (Source: information provided by International Office during Katherine Newman and Katrin Križ’ site visit in 2003).
The Center for Social Policy Research (Zentrum für Sozialpolitik)
The Center for Social Policy Research (ZeS), a research institute at the University of Bremen funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, was founded in 1988 and is the first research center that engaged in multidisciplinary social policy research in Germany. About 40 researchers work at the center, which comprises five research units:
- Theory and constitution of the welfare state The research focal points of this unit are legitimation and democratic discourse, especially regarding questions of language and public communication about duty, responsibility, obligation, justice, and the need for intergenerational exchange. This research unit explores whether the welfare state is in a legitimation crisis by comparing Germany, England, Switzerland, and the U.S.
- Institutions and history of the welfare state This unit comprises three subsections: one on Work and Employment, one on Education and Training, and one on Labor Markets and Welfare State Reform. The unit on Work and Employment focuses on new types of non-standard work arrangements, including self-employment, which are producing new kinds of inequality. The highly educated, young and gender-mixed groups are comfortable with market risk, but have low income and poor benefits. This unit studies how these groups deal with risk management, and in particular how they cope without unions or collective bargaining. The unit on Education and Training examines how general education reproduces social inequality. The unit on Labor Markets and Welfare State Reform investigates whether policy reforms result in mainstreaming low-skilled workers in Germany, Denmark, France and the U.K.
- Economics This unit studies how economic, demographic and political factors shape institutions providing social security, particularly in old age.
- Health care policy, company healthcare, and social dynamics of sickness This research unit explores the history of old age security in Germany, self-employment among the elderly, and private provisions of social security by companies and individuals. It also carries out research on health care and long-term care, in particular future costs of long-term care, family care, exit and voice in Germany health care, and the definition of benefit packages in the U.K. and the U.S. This research is based on administrative records and longitudinal data sets of sick funds. This unit also conducts research on the financial situation of the elderly, including people’s income and consumption across the life cycle based on data sets including detailed breakdowns of income and consumption patterns.
The subsection on occupational health and social medicine studies the links between power relations, health inequalities, and social capital, conditions of well being and drug utilization by using prescription data from health insurers on 1.4 million people insured in sick funds.
- Gender policy and the welfare state This unit studies to what extent German social policies create opportunities for women and men. The focus of this unit lies on education, employment and family life.
(Sources: Website of the Center for Social Policy Research and Katherine Newman and Katrin Križ’ site visit in 2003)
The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS)
Photo: Students, faculty and staff of Graduate school of Social Sciences (GSSS)
The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS),which was founded in 2002 and employs four permanent faculty members and admits about 15 Ph.D. students per year, provides training in English in quantitative and qualitative methods towards the Ph.D. degree. About 25 researchers at the Collaborative Research Center 597 "Transformations of the State", the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies,and the Institute for Empirical and Applied Sociology (EMPAS) are also affiliated with the GSSS. The research areas of the GSSS are transnational relations and political theory, the modern welfare state, and the life course and social change.The research unit on the life course and social change addresses the following questions: how does a welfare state crisis influence people’s life course? How does inequality alter life course changes? How should politicians intervene? It also explores the gendered dynamics of the division of labor in families across generations.
The GSSS houses the Archive for Life Course Research, which holds quantitative data as well as about 300 interviews with 109 informants about life passages of young people starting in the late 1980’s (Sources: Katherine Newman and Katrin Križ’ site visit in 2003; GSSS brochure).
The Collaborative Research Center 597 “Transformations of the State”
The Collaborative Research Center 597 "Transformations of the State", which was established in 2003, employs 40 senior and 20 junior researchers. Its objective is to study the causes and effects of changes in core OECD nation states in the second half of the 20th century based on an understanding of the resources, rights, legitimization and intervention dimension of states, and the interplay of these dimensions.
THE FUTURE OF THE “LEGAL STATE” - World trade and social regulations
- Transnational governance and international law
THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATION STATE - Transnational social spaces and democratic legitimization
THE FUTURE OF THE “INTERVENTION STATE” - Reforms of labor market policy: from caring to cooperative welfare state?
- Change of state-involvement in the health services of OECD countries
This unit focuses on changes in health care systems across OECD countries based on the hypothesis that containment pressures in health care are causing a convergence in health care delivery systems.
- The internationalization of education policy
(Sources: Brochure on “Staatlichkeit im Wandel;” website of the Collaborative Research Center, August 2004)
Hilke Brockmann Research areas: social inequality across the life course with regard to ageing and health
Hilke Brockmann is Junior Professor for Life Course Research at the Graduate School for Social Sciences (GSSS). Her research interests include the causes and consequences of population ageing and social inequalities between generations and within generations. She earned her doctorate from the University of Marburg and worked with the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock before joining the GSSS. Her current research explores the unequal effects of changing family biographies and social policies on later life and mortality in different countries. She also forecasts health care needs and costs in ageing societies.
Irene Dingeldey Research areas: welfare states from a comparative perspective; interdependencies of family policy, taxation and labor market policies; changes in labor market and family structures; types of reflexive regulation
Irene Dingeldey, who earned her doctorate at the University of Bielefeld in 1996, worked as a researcher in the Sociology department at the University of Bielefeld from 1990 to 1995, at the Pädagogische Hochschule in Weingarten from 1995 to 1997, and at the Gelsenkirchen Institut Arbeit und Technik’s division on the labor market. Since 2000, she has worked as a researcher at the Center for Social Policy Research.
Karin Gottschall Research areas: structural changes of paid work in the service sector; labor market, education policies and welfare state reform from a gender perspective
Karin Gottschall earned her doctorate at the University of Hannover. Between 1980 and 1988, she worked as a researcher at the Sociological Research Institute (Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut) Göttingen on projects on the development of white-collar employment and the gendered segregation of the labor market. From 1988 to 1996, she was a research assistant at the Department of Sociology at the University of Göttingen, and she also conducted research at New York University in 1991. From 1996 to 1998, she held a post-doctoral fellowship in the area of gender relations and social change at the University of Dortmund. She defended her “Habilitation” in Sociology at the University of Göttingen in 1998 and has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Bremen and chair of the division studying gendered aspects of the welfare state since 1999. She is Director of GSSS.
Walter R. Heinz Research areas: social inequality across the life course with regard to education, training and the labor market
Walter R. Heinz is Professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of Bremen. He has conducted comparative quantitative and qualitative life course research on social inequality in education to work-transitions in Canada, Germany and the U.K. for the past 15 years. He collaborated with colleagues in Sociology, Education and Social Policy to manage a long-term research project called “Status Passages and Social Risks in the Life Course,” which was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 1988 to 2001. He acted as visiting chair for European and German Studies at the University of Toronto and has worked as a visiting professor at several universities in Canada and the U.S.
Johannes Huinink Research areas: social inequality across the life course with regard to gender and family life
Johannes Huinink obtained a Diploma in Mathematics at the University of Münster in 1976 and in Sociology at the University of Bielefeld in 1981. He earned his doctorate at the University of Bielefeld and completed his “Habilitation” at Free University Berlin in 1994. From 1980 to 1994, he worked as a researcher at the Institute for Population Research and Social Policy in Bielefeld and the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development in Berlin. In 1994 he became Professor of Sociology (Comparative Studies of Modern Societies) at the University of Leipzig. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Professor of Sociology (areas of specialization: Population and the Family) at the University of Rostock. He is now Professor of Social Structure at the University of Bremen.
Helga Krüger Research areas: social inequality across the life course with regard to gender and family life
Helga Krüger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bremen. Her research and teaching interests lie in the areas of family dynamics, labor market hierarchies and transitions from school to work; socialization, qualification and gender; equal opportunities and linked life course patters. She served as Chair of the Bremen Research Center on Work and Education between 1984 and 1996. From 1988 to 2000, she was member of the steering committee of the Bremen Life Course Research Program. Since 2000, she has been affiliated with the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) and the Institute of Empirical and Applied Sociology (EMPAS).
Stephan Leibfried Research areas: poverty and health policy; social policies in comparative perspective; the process of European integration
Stephan Leibfried has been member of the Center for Social Policy Research since 1988 and chairs its division on institutions and history of the welfare state. He is also founding member of the research division on status passages and conditions of risk during the life course. Leibfried, who studied in Berlin and the U.S., held several visiting professorships in the U.S., including a visiting professorship at Stanford University from 1996 to 1997. He has published widely on poverty and the welfare state (with Lutz Leisering), European social policy (with Paul Pierson), globalization and the welfare state, and social policy in East Asia.
Ulrike Liebert Research areas: social citizenship in Europe; parliaments and governments in Western Europe; gender and the welfare state; gender and the process of Europeanization; gender and work from a comparative perspective
Ulrike Liebert, who earned her doctorate at the European University Institute Florence in 1988 and finished her “Habilitation” at the University of Heidelberg in 1995, is Professor of Political Science at the University of Bremen, Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics, and Director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Bremen. She has worked as a visiting professor at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and the Government Department at Cornell University.
Steffen Mau Research areas: moral economy of welfare states; attitudes towards social assistance; internal and external reasons for welfare state reform in Germany, the EU and OECD
Steffen Mau teaches Political Sociology and Social Policy at the GSSS. His book, The Moral Economy of Welfare States: Britain and Germany Compared , which was published by Routledge in 2003, explores the reasons behind people’s willingness to support redistribution of wealth in society. He argues that people’s attitudes toward redistributive institutions reflect a sense of reciprocity, rather than selfishness or altruism.
Rainer Müller Research areas: employment-related illness; history of work-related health care and of institutional regulations of employment trajectories and processes of illness; health insurers’ understanding of rehabilitation and concepts of health; the professionalization of company physicians
A physician and sociologist by training, Rainer Müller has been member of the Center for Social Policy Research since 1988 and has chaired the center’s division on health policy, work-related health care and “Sozialmedizin.” He teaches in the division of Public Health/Health Sciences at the University of Bremen, works as an expert consultant for cases of workplace-related sickness, and as a physician for the employees of Bremen airport.
Patrizia Nanz Research areas: the legitimation of transnational governance regimes; multi-level governance with regard to asylum and migration in the European Union; risk-regulation (WTO)
Patrizia Nanz, who has worked at GSSS since 2002, obtained her doctorate from the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute Florence in 2001. She then held Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Gemeinschaftsgütern in Bonn and the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Westminster University in London. In the spring term of 2003, she was a visiting professor at MIT.
Frank Nullmeier Research areas: theory of the welfare state; social policy, in particular social security in old age; organizations; political theory; political parties
Frank Nullmeier earned his Diploma in Political Science from the University of Hamburg in 1981 and his Doctorate in Political Science in 1990. Between 1990 and 1997, he worked as University Assistant at the Political Science Department at the University of Hamburg. He defended his “Habilitation” on “Between Envy and Social Recognition: Toward a Political Theory of the Welfare State” in 1998. He taught at the University of Konstanz and the University of Essen before becoming a Professor of Political Science at the University of Bremen in 2000. He chairs the Center for Social Policy Research division on Theory and Constitution of the Welfare State.
Herbert Obinger Research areas: comparative social policy; comparison of political systems and political economy of German-speaking countries
Herbert Obinger studied Political Science at the University of Vienna and the University of Bern, and Economics at the University of Vienna. His dissertation explored social policies in Switzerland. He has worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Social Policy Research since 1998. In fall 2004, he is a visiting researcher at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard.
Heinz Rothgang Research areas: health care economics; social security; demographic change; European social policy; the economics of institutions; rational choice theory
Heinz Rothgang studied Economics, Political Science and Sociology at the University of Cologne and the University of Sussex. Between 1990 and 1992, he was Fellow of the Graduate School of Social Sciences in Cologne. He earned his doctorate in Political Science at the University of Cologne in 1995 and then held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne until 1996. He has worked as a researcher for the Center for Social Policy Research since 1993.
Martin Seeleib-Kaiser Research areas: comparative study of social policies of the U.S., Japan and Germany
Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, who earned his doctorate in Political Science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich in 1992, has been a researcher at the Center for Social Policy Research since 1993.
Winfried Schmähl Research areas: social security; company-funded and state-funded old-age security; social security financing; comparative study of old-age security systems in capitalist and formerly socialist countries; care insurance; income development
Winfried Schmähl, who completed his doctorate and “Habilitation” at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, is Professor of Economics with a specialization in social policy and Director of the Economics Division of the Center for Social Policy Research.
Benjamin Veghte Research areas: historical development of U.S. welfare state and its current class, ethnicity, and gender dynamics
Benjamin Veghte, who earned his Ph.D. in European History from the University of Chicago, is Director of Studies at GSSS. A researcher at Bremen University since 1997, he has carried out research for projects on institutional regulation and individual coping mechanisms with health risks and on social assistance reforms in the U.S., Sweden and Germany. Veghte, who has written a dictionary of social policy for the European Commission, is presently working on his “Habilitation,” a historical-institutionalist and political-cultural analysis of the historical development and present dynamics of welfare provision in the U.S., and an analysis of the impact of the U.S. welfare regime on different social groups.
Wolfgang Voges Research areas: social assistance in transforming societies; poverty in Europe; comparative policies against poverty, especially the impact of family policies on the life conditions of single parents and their children; U.S.- German comparison of the impact of welfare state conditions on children’s wellbeing, social inequality and determinants of mortality over time
Wolfgang Voges, who completed a “Habilitation” in Sociology, has worked as a researcher at the Center for Social Policy since 1989.
Ansgar Weymann Research areas: social inequality across the life course with regard to education, training and the labor market
Ansgar Weyman is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bremen and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS). He chairs the Institute of Empirical and Applied Sociology (EMPAS) and is member of the Collaborative Research Center 597 “Transformations of the State.” He has been Visiting Professor at universities in Canada and the U.S. and a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS). His research interests include social theory, education, work, labor markets, and the life course. He and his research team are currently launching a large research project on how European education policies change national education systems.
(Sources: Katherine Newman and Katrin Križ’ site visit in 2003; http://www.state.uni -bremen.de/download/de/forschung/04_2003_Forschungsprofile.pdf; Zentrum für Sozialpolitik Jahresbericht Januar bis Dezember 2002)
The members of the research network consisting of the Center for Social Policy Research, TranState, EMPAS and GSSS can provide access to GSOEP, a selection of OECD data series, PISA, TIMMS III, Allbus, longitudinal datasets on German sickness funds, Gmicrocensus, Family Survey (DJI), German Life History Survey (Berlin MPI), and Eurobarometer.
The GSSS offers colloquia and workshops in English on a regular basis. The Center for Social Policy Research and the Collaborative Research Center 597 offer colloquia and seminars in German.
The best place to find general information on accommodation in Bremen and visa and residency permit requirements is the website of the International Office (IO) of the University of Bremen. The International Office also offers the so-called “Newcomer Service” to international students. This service arranges “tutors” for international students. Tutors are older international students who speak English and are trained by the IO to help incoming international students during their stay in Germany. They help new students with bureaucratic procedures such as opening a bank account, registering with the “Meldeamt” on campus, etc. The main contact for international students and visiting researchers is Ms. Beate Heitzhausen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on accommodation and transportation in Bremen can also be found in the guide for master’s students in economics.
The IO also offers legal advice for international students and provides help with finding internships and jobs. In addition, the IO organizes trips to other German cities, a weekly “Kneipenstammtisch” that offers activities for international students, and a program called “At Home in Bremen,” which arranges for international students to get to know local students.
The university owns two guest houses for guests of the University of Bremen: “Gästehaus Teerhof” and “Gästehaus Hasted.” Gästehaus Teerhof is centrally located near the old town, on the island of the river Weser. This guest house is a 20-minute tram ride (tram # 6) from the university. A single room, including a kitchen, toilet and shower, cost 450 euros per month in January 2004. Rooms have a phone line and Internet access. The cost of a privately arranged studio apartment was about 300 euros per month in 2003.
The U.S. Department of State provides extensive information on health insurance for Americans traveling abroad. Students who are younger than 30 years can get enrolled in student health insurance. For instance, AOK, one of the German insurance providers, will certify that students are enrolled in student health insurance if students who are younger than 30 years have proof of health insurance in the U.S.
Office space and computer access
The GSSS and the Collaborative Research Center 597 have graciously offered to provide office space for Inequality Fellows. The Center for Social Policy Research may be able to provide library carrels.
The University of Bremen’s fall term runs from October to the beginning of February, and the spring term from April to mid July.