Political Economy of the Welfare State

In the department the political economy of the welfare state is analysed, particularly from a political science perspective.


The department consists of five working groups. They share a strictly comparative alignment to research, an interest in the historical development of welfare states and make use of a wide portfolio of methods.

  • Comparative Political Economy
    The working group analyses the political economy of the welfare state, in OECD states in particular. Research includes the analysis of welfare state institutions under the condition of changing political systems and economic problems since the beginning of the industrialization.
    Head: NN

  • Historical and Comparative Welfare State Research
    The working group researches the political-institutional and socio-economic determinants in the development, the expansion, modification and structural form of the welfare state.
    Head: Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger

  • Global Social Policy
    The working group analyses the determinants and outcomes of different configurations of social protection from a global perspective. 
    Head: Prof. Dr. Sarah Berens


Members of the department are involved in teaching in the following programs:

  • BA Political Science, MA Political Science, MA Professional Public Decision-Making

  • MA Social Policy (particularly the modules on Comparative Social Policy, European and International Social Policy, and Social Science Research Methods)

  • PhD programs of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), e.g. the Doctoral Colloquium Welfare State.