Johanna Fischer
Johanna Fischer

BIGSSS, Universität Bremen

Tel.: +49 421 218-57074


Unicom 1, Haus 1, Room: 1.4180


Affiliated Ph.D. Fellow, Field B, Cohort 2018

Research Interests

Social Policy and Politics

Comparative Welfare Research


Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Systems


Public Policy

Population Aging


Dissertation topic
Comparing State Intervention in Long-Term Care Worldwide: A Typological Approach

Dissertation abstract
The risk of needing long-term care (LTC), i.e. assistance for an extended period due to impaired capacities, has only recently emerged as an independent field of social policy making and, con-sequently, welfare study. Arguably, LTC policy will become increasingly relevant in more coun-tries and regions worldwide in the next decades as the need for (social protection for) LTC is expected to rise due to societal and demographic developments. As is the case for other social policies, the organisation of LTC varies temporally and spatially across societies, for instance regarding the reliance on informal versus formal care, financing sources, or the regulation of coverage. The existence and variation of LTC policies and systems across the globe has not yet been studied systematically: existing literature analyses few countries and is predominantly fo-cused on the Global North, especially Europe; (comparative) data on LTC systems is largely missing. Furthermore, a conceptual framework for conducting a systematic comparison of pub-lic responsibility for LTC across countries does not exist. My dissertation aims to advance both the conceptual and empirical comparative analysis of LTC by answering the following research question: When and how have states intervened into the provision, financing and regulation of long-term care and which types of long-term care systems have subsequently emerged? Ulti-mately, my comparison of LTC systems will not only make a major analytical-descriptive con-tribution for studying LTC policy worldwide but can also be used as a first exploratory step to-wards explaining first state intervention and reforms in the policy field of LTC. My research design consists of three main steps: the development of a typology of LTC systems (i), the construction of an international data base on LTC (ii), and the classification and analysis of countries’ LTC systems (iii). The typology of LTC systems fulfils the aim of establishing a heuristic framework that can subsequently be used for systematic comparison. It will be devel-oped in a mainly deductive procedure based on the constitutive dimensions of the system by, firstly, constructing an attribute space as a universe of ideal types and, secondly, reducing the former by eliminating impossible and unnecessary combinations. The second step is dedicated to data collection, both on policy introduction and reform dates as well as – following the opera-tionalisation of the typology – on the form of provision, financing and regulation in each sys-tem. Data will be extracted by triangulating multiple sources – existing academic and grey litera-ture and policy documents, existing quantitative data and a country/regional expert survey on LTC that I will conduct in course of my research project – and consolidated at the country level. Bringing the typological framework and empirical data together, the third step will classify each identified LTC system at the point of introduction and after major reforms using the developed typology. For assessing to which type an empirical case conforms to which extend, I will employ the set-theoretic approach of Fuzzy Set Ideal Type Analysis. After describing and mapping the LTC systems I will interpret the findings – e.g. country groupings and development paths – to draw first hypothesis for explaining LTC system development.

Academic Supervisors
Heinz Rothgang
Lorraine Frisina