Workshop 2020: “Politics of Crime Control and Social Protection”, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck (virtual meeting)

The virtual workshop “The Politics of Crime Control and Social Protection”, organized together with Together with Franziska Deeg (University of Cologne), follows the previous “Societies under Stress” meeting held at OSU in Columbus, Ohio, in November 2018. The workshop provides a platform to discuss new findings on the links between crime control and social welfare policies. What are the ideological, political, social and historical foundations of these programs within and across nations? When do voters become more inclined to support one over the other?

The event will take place on October 15th-16th as an online meeting due to the current pandemic. We look forward to an inspiring meeting!


Workshop 2018: “Societies under Stress” – Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

In collaboration with Sarah Brooks (OSU), who hosted the conference at OSU, Marianne Ulriksen (University of Southern Denmark), Peter Starke (University of Southern Denmark), and Georg Wenzelburger (Technical University of Kaiserslautern) and I as organizing team, the workshop aims at advancing collaborative research on the relationship between social welfare and penal policies across nations. Georg Wenzelburger and I received funding from the conference program of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation to organize the international workshop “Societies under Stress: Investigating the relationship between welfare and penal policies in an era of rising insecurities” at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, in fall 2018.

Crime control and social welfare are the ‘left hand and right hand of the state,’ and yet these instruments of social control are usually examined in isolation. The workshop brings together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds to ask: What are the causal links between crime control and social welfare policies? Taking a global perspective, the workshop will address this topic with contributions from different regional contexts such as Latin America, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

Workshop 2016: New Approaches to the Political Economy of Social Policy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

The international workshop “New Approaches to the Political Economy of Social Policy” organized by Irene Menéndez Gonzalez (University of Zurich), Santiago López-Cariboni (Catholic University of Uruguay) and Sarah Berens (UoC) took place on May 23rd-24th at the Robert Ellscheid Saal of the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation in Cologne, Germany. It presented the take-off meeting to generate a research group devoted to studying the political economy of social policy (PESP) in a broader sense.

In recent years, social policymaking in developing countries has undergone fundamental changes and diverted scholarly interest from welfare state research in well-established democracies to the nascent field of developing economies. Understanding who benefits from social policy, who is hurt by it and when political actors are most likely to provide it is crucial to understand the different patterns of social policy, its causes and consequences, in developing economies. The workshop gathered a group of international scholars devoted to the question of obstacles and challenges of social policymaking in developing countries to address a topic of urgent interest: the expansion of social protection programs to the poor and vulnerable.

The workshop was financed by the International Activities in the Competence Areas of the University of Cologne Grant. We are grateful to the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation for hosting the workshop at their venue.

PESP Cologne 2016