If one is interested in comprehensive information on the history, theories and methods, details of various policies and their effects in the area of (internationally comparative) social policy research the new source to go to is the some 900 pages strong “Handbuch Sozialpolitik” edited by Herbert Obinger and the Heidelberg Emeritus Manfred G. Schmidt. The German book market offers nothing comparable. Recent surveys only deal with various parts of the subject, for example social law.
The new handbook comprises of seven parts with altogether 41 chapters written by the leading experts in the field (with different disciplinary backgrounds). Ten of the chapters come from members of SOCIUM. Part I covers the history of social policy, part II the theories explaining social policy. Part III deals with the different national welfare state systems and its typologies while part IV gives an overview on the methodologies of social policy research. Part V analyzes current challenges while part VI offers a broad overview on the various complex details of different fields of social policy. The final part VI looks at the effects of social policy.
Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-58567