Thematic Field B: Welfare State, Inequality and Quality of Life

Field Chairs: Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall, Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang

Field Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Matthias Wingens

This field integrates macro, meso and micro level research, and focuses on the connection between social policies, patterns of inequality, and collective and individual well-being. Welfare state regimes are being transformed and the welfare state's central role in government has been called into question. Traditional social policies were designed to deal with social risks in an industrial society but as economies shift from manufacturing to knowledge-based, manual labor ceases to be the dominant form of employment, education moves center stage, and traditional industrial society class structures are altered. The result has been a resurgence of economic and social inequality and the emergence of new forms of insecurity in advanced industrial societies, with massive implications for collective and individual well-being. 

Research questions in Thematic Field B fall into three groups:

  1. How are European welfare states being affected by globalization, Europeanization, labor market changes, labor market flexibilization, and new socio-economic and demographic patterns?
  2. What impacts have changes in social policy had on social integration and inequality affected by globalization?
  3. How are changing social structures and welfare state reform affecting the quality of life?

PhD Fellows in Thematic Field B have their offices at the University of Bremen branch of BIGSSS.

More Information on Thematic Field B

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