Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mückenberger (Universität Bremen)
Social policy in general has been and still is considered mainly as an issue of collective and corporative actors organised at a national level. This holds for systems of health care, unemployment insurance or pension funds.
Concerning labour regulation there is a longer tradition of supranational and global regulations, as the examples of ILO regulations or OECD standards reveal. Nevertheless, compared to the actual degree of globalised and transnationalised social relations and interchanges of goods, information, cognitive maps and persons, the development of coordinated cross-border social policies remains quite "underdeveloped".
Based on empirical research about transnational (expert) mobility in organisations and the emerging texture of transnational labour regulation and referring to theories of global "institutional work" (W. Mayer, T. Lawrence/R. Suddaby) the presentation argues that there could be identified a transnational institution building of social policy in the field of labour regulation that differs significantly from classic forms of social policy. In order to actually "realize" these empirical tendencies, we have to fine-tune our theoretical-conceptual lenses.
In the era of globalised supply chains, consumption has developed into a major, geographically distant driver of various local impacts in countries producing raw materials. In my presentation, I introduce a new framework that connects spatiotemporal databases to global economic input-output models. This novel methodology is developed in the ERC-funded project ‘FINEPRINT’ (www.fineprint.global) and allows tracking of material supply chains at a high spatial detail. I present selected results of how we map the global geographical distribution of mining and agriculture on a detailed (1 km x 1 km) grid cell level and how we link these global extraction maps to spatially explicit data on related environmental impacts, taking the example of deforestation. I then illustrate how we trace raw material flows and related impacts using spatially explicit material flow models, focusing on the case of global biomass flows. The FINEPRINT framework allows robust assessments of raw material footprints and related environmental impacts as a basis for designing targeted action by policy and business to realise more sustainable product supply chains.
The study of causal mechanisms and processes is ubiqutious in the social sciences. But there is no agreement on how this can be achieved. In this talk, I will present recent advancements in process-tracing methods as one tool to study mechanisms, discussing its relative strengths and the tradeoffs involved with detailed tracing of mechanisms as they play out in real-world cases. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the developing standards for what determines the internal and external validity of mechanism-focused case studies.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) pro-claimed the equality of all human beings in dignity and rights. The right to social security, however, has been tak-en more seriously only since the 2000s, through calls for "Social Security for All" and "Leaving no-one behind". The book investigates a major response, social cash transfers to the poor. The idea of simply giving money to the poor had been rejected by all major development organisations, but since the early 2000s, social cash transfers have mushroomed in the global South and on agendas of international organisations. How come? What programmes have emerged in which countries? How inclusive are the programmes? What models have international organiza-tions devised? Based on unique quantitative and qualitative data and on newly created concepts and indicators, the book takes stock of all identifiable cash transfers in all Southern countries and of the views of all major international organisations.
The volume argues that cash transfers reflect broader changes: new understandings of development, of human rights, of global risks, of the social responsibility of governments, and of universalism. Social cash transfers have turned the poor from objects of charity into rights-holders and agents of their own lives and of development. A repertoire of cash transfers has evolved that has enhanced social citizenship, but is limited by weak political commitments.The book also contributes to a general theory of social policy in development contexts, through a constructivist sociological approach that complements the dominant approaches from welfare economics and political economy and includes a theory of social assistance.