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Information on press releases, publications and SOCIUM-related news.

Graphic Graphic "Economisation of Medicine"
Panel discussion on Monday, 6th November 2017, 4-7 p.m., Konsul-Hackfeld-Haus, Birkenstraße 34, 28195 Bremen.

On Monday, November 6, 2017 a panel event will be held at the Konsul-Hackfeld-Haus in Bremen to discuss the findings of an empirical research project on the economisation of medical decisions relating to hospital patients.

Are patients and their welfare really the focus of interest when they are admitted to hospital, treated and discharged? Can the observable steady rise in cases and the growing complexity of diseases exclusively be attributed to medical needs? Does the orientation of hospitals meet the health needs of the population? Or are these developments an expression of an "economisation" process, which increasingly commingles medical indications with economic interests? Do the financing concepts of the health system have an impact on the substance, character and quality of medicine and hospital treatment?

Economist Professor Heinz Naegler (Berlin School of Economics and Law), and physician and sociologist Professor Karl-Heinz Wehkamp (SOCIUM, University of Bremen), interviewed hospital doctors and managers throughout Germany on whether medical decisions are influenced by interests other than patients', and if so, why.

Their findings testify to the dilemmas confronting hospital managers and doctors when compelled to generate profits in order to secure the economic livelihood of their hospitals. If the welfare of the patients were consistently taken into account as a criterion for patient-related and business decisions, then fewer patients would be admitted for treatment, and treatment processes would be carried out with more diligence and restraint and less forcefulness. As a workplace, hospitals would be more attractive and conducive to better health, and the shortage of skilled workers would be less severe - providing, of course, that enough skilled workers are available and hospitals are under less pressure to generate profits in order to be sustainable.

The findings will be discussed by a panel of experts including Professor Eva Quante-Brandt, Senator for Health in Bremen, Dr. Heidrun Gitter, President of the Bremen Medical Chamber, Jürgen Scholz, Chairman of the Bremen Hospital Association and Dr. Jürgen Malzahn, Director of Inpatient Care, Federal Association of the AOK Health Fund. Hedwig François-Kettner, Chair of the German Coalition for Patient Safety (Aktionsbündnis Patientensicherheit) and former Director of Care Management at the Charité Clinical Centre in Berlin, will speak on the issue from the point of view of patient safety.

The results of the study will be available in book form (Naegler H, Wehkamp K-H: Medizin im Krankenhaus zwischen Patientenwohl und Ökonomisierung, Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Berlin, 12/2017) as well as in the journals "Deutsches Ärzteblatt" and "Monitor Versorgungsforschung" (all in German). A team from NDR Television will be recording the event and producing a comprehensive documentary on the subject.

Professor Heinz Rothgang and Dr. Joachim Larisch, SOCIUM, are joint scientific directors and organisers of the event.

Please register by mail to Vicki May, vicki.may@uni-bremen.de, by Friday, 3rd November 2017.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

StB Dr. Joachim Larisch
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58552
E-Mail: jlarisch@uni-bremen.de

Universities of Bremen and Zurich compare election outcomes / AfD-supporters not "victims of modernization".

Right-wing populism is on the rise. Everywhere? Until recently, the resilience of the German party system to such a party has been an exception to this general trend. The establishment of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in the wake of the Eurozone crisis put an end to this German exceptionalism.

This paper tests the 'losers of modernization'-thesis, one of the most dominant explanations for right-wing populist voting, for the case of the AfD. Based on district level data from the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development and official data on electoral outcomes at the district level, we examine whether the socio-economic characteristics of a district yield any explanatory power for the AfD’s electoral success in the federal elections of 2013 and the elections to the European Parliament in 2014. With this data, we avoid problems of representativeness and reliability of survey data with respect to socio-economically marginalized groups and their voting behavior. Our findings suggest that the modernization thesis bears little relevance for the success of the populist right in Germany. By contrast, we find a strong correlation between the AfD’s electoral success in a district and the success of radical right parties in previous elections in the same district. We explain this intriguing finding with a "tradition of radical right voting" and a specific political culture on which the AfD has been able to draw once the broader political and social context allowed for the creation of a right-wing populist party in Germany.

More information:
Study: It’s not the economy, stupid! Explaining the electoral success of the German right-wing populist AfD


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Philip Manow
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58580
E-Mail: manow@uni-bremen.de

Innovation Report 2017Innovation Report 2017
Health experts from SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen present the Innovation Report 2017 at the Federal Press Conference on 20 September in Berlin.

Professor Gerd Glaeske (SOCIUM Research Center on Equality and Social Policy) and Professor Wolf-Dieter Ludwig (Chairman of the Medical Committee of the German Medical Association), published the Innovationreport with the support of the Techniker Krankenkasse for the fifth time. The research report reviews drugs that have been prescribed in Germany since three years and have been reimbursed by the statutory health insurance (GKV). The results of assessments of 32 new drugs evaluated were mediocre - no single product receiving the overall "green traffic light".

In the Innovationsreport 2017, different aspects of the new medicines are analyzed according to their daily usage:

  • Is the medicine the only one to treat the disease concerned?

  • Is there more benefit and / or less risk to patients and how expensive is it?

  • Are there further references published that may change the assessments of the new drugs since the authorization of the respective agent?

These questions are answered by means of a traffic light system. There is a "red" traffic light for a critical assessment, a "yellow" for a more open classification and a "green" for a positive overall assessment.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Carina SchmittProf. Dr. Carina Schmitt
1.5 Million Euros from the European Research Council for Research on "The Legacy of Colonialism: Origins and Outcome of Social Protection".

Great news at SOCIUM: Carina Schmitt, Professor of Global Social Policy at the University of Bremen has received a prestigious award. She acquired one of the coveted ERC Starting Grants. The European Research Council (ERC) now funds her research with nearly 1.5 million Euros. Carina Schmitt explores the legacy of colonialism with regard to the origins and outcomes of social security. She examines the influence of the colonial past of former colonies on the effectiveness of social policy to combat poverty and inequality. Moreover, together with colleagues, she is building a database containing information on social policies from a global and historical perspective.

Carina Schmitt: "I am very glad about receiving this award, as it allows me to implement an exciting research project in a great research environment here at the University of Bremen. This is not to be taken for granted."

This year, the ERC Starting Grant is being awarded to 406 young top researchers across Europe. Overall, the European Research Council is supporting scientists with 605 million Euros. The funding is intended to enable the recipients to independently implement their own research ideas with their teams. For this prestigious award, 3085 proposals had been submitted.

More information: Working Group "Global Social Policy"


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Carina Schmitt
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58603
E-Mail: carina.schmitt@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Karin GottschallProf. Dr. Karin Gottschall
The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (FIS)" run by the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs grants 1.1 million euro in initial funding for the SOCIUM Research Center.

A huge success for the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen: The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research" approved the application submitted by the Bremen Professor of Sociology, Karin Gottschall, for the provision of an endowed chair titled "Life Course Oriented Social Policy". The chair, embedded in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the SOCIUM research center, will be financed by the FIS with 1.1 million euro for the following five years. Research and teaching under the new chair will focus on the relationship of employment biographies, social policy, and social inequality.

Risks in the Life Course
For decades, the German labor market has been characterized by high and persistent unemployment of specific groups and the increase of insecure employment relations. The idea of continuous employment up until retirement seems to be more and more unrealistic. This topic will rank high on the agenda of our society in the years to come. Against this background, the endowed chair will focus on new and old risks of changed employment relations and ways of life. Moreover, consequences of recent social political reforms in the labor market and old-age provision in Germany will be investigated in an international comparison. Research will take into account specific groups such as women, people with migration backgrounds, low-wage earners, and the self-employed. Special emphasis will be given to the question of how individuals and groups perceive and address social risks in the life course and in everyday life.

At the same time, the chair will transfer sound sociological knowledge to the public on controversial issues like basic income and poverty risks. It also aims to further sustainable social- and labor-market policies which are sensitive to changing life course demands. The chair's approach promotes the newly established integration of social policy research and sociological inequality research at the SOCIUM and allows for sharpening the profile of interdisciplinary welfare state research at the University of Bremen.

The Bremen SOCIUM
The SOCIUM is nationwide the only social science research institute which empirically and theoretically investigates question of inequality and social policy as well as social and political interdependencies. The focus of this work lies in interdisciplinary research on social, economic, political, cultural, organizational, legal, historical, and social-medical conditions.

The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research"
The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research", which was set up in 2016 by the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs, funds junior research groups, research projects and endowed chairs with the aim of promoting innovative approaches in social policy research.

Further Information:
Funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research"


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58595
E-Mail: karin.gottschall@uni-bremen.de

1st prize for his M.A. dissertation on "Soziale Wohnungsraumagenturen in Deutschland - Eine Ersterhebung" (Social Housing Agencies in Germany - An Initial Survey).

Axel Steffen has received an award by the “Deutscher Mieterbund” (German Tenants’ Association) for his M.A. dissertation in the Master program Social Policy on the topic "Soziale Wohnungsraumagenturen in Deutschland - Eine Ersterhebung" (Social Housing Agencies in Germany - An Initial Survey). On the 67th "Deutschen Mietertag" (German Tenants' Day) in Magdeburg, the DMB study prize was awarded for the second time, where Axel Steffen won the first place.

The German tenants‘ association and the Institute of Spatial Planning of the Technical University of Dortmund award this prize every two years. The award is dedicated to outstanding dissertations which deal with the research area of housing policy in an innovative way.

The Master in Social Policy offers a first-class education, on an international level, over four semesters. Objectives of the course include the development of the welfare state and civil society, the analysis of European welfare regimes, its future and the challenges they face within a globalized context as well as international comparisons. Further objectives include a close look at sub-areas and fields of social policy and onto the development and consequences of socio-political measures. The aim of the curriculum is to qualify for positions in institutions and organizations of social security as well as research institutes on welfare state- and social policy. The graduate program is aimed at students interested in professions that incorporate social scientific reflection, responsible action and research-oriented work.

Further information:
Press release "Deutscher Mieterbund" (German tenants‘ association) of 06 June 2017, in German
Master Social Policy


Contact:
Dr. Irina Wiegand
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58508
E-Mail: irina.wiegand@uni-bremen.de