Return to Workshops

Forthcoming Workshops

ESPAnet Germany and the Research Institute for Societal Development (FGW) will organize an international doctoral workshop in English.

“20 Years of Social Investment: Empirical Evidence and Future Perspectives”

at the  University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, Germany the                   22nd  & 23rd of February 2018.

The workshop seeks to bring German and international students together.

Information about the workshop below. If additional information is needed or to submit abstracts contact Diana Auth:

October 31st 2017 is the deadline for applications.

The organizers invite papers from graduate students and request your assistance in informing students about the workshop.

Participation in the workshop is free.

The organizers: Diana Auth, Florian Blank, Antonio Brettschneider, Ute Klammer & Michaela Schulze

Information about the workshop:

What: European welfare states have been transformed considerably during the last decades. The development of traditional welfare states has required new concepts, policies and programmes. In this context, social investment is a prominent example. Having started as a social policy concept of the EU, social investment is now a well-known term of comparative welfare state research and it is more and more labelled as the new social policy paradigm. For about 20 years, scientists have been discussing social investment from different perspectives. Although different in timing and degree, many Western countries have introduced reforms influenced by investive ideas: enhancing efficiency of welfare provision by improving employment and employability, fostering individual responsibility, choice and customer-orientation, and supporting the development of human capital. Prominent policies deal with activation, early childhood education, reconciliation of working and caring or prevention and health promotion. Against this background, we are interested in discussing the emergence of different concepts, empirical characteristics of social investment programmes and policies, options to measure the outcome of investive policies and future perspectives of social

Who: We invite submissions of papers from PhD students who focus on one or several of the mentioned aspects. Country case studies as well as comparative papers on social investment from theoretical and empirical perspectives are welcome. We are especially interested in different policy fields (e.g. education, family policy, health care or labour market policy) and regional differences. The workshop seeks to bring together PhD students from German and international universities and research institutions. We welcome papers from different theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives. Special emphasis is given to discussing preliminary results of the PhD theses. So researchers should be in a position to present the overall framework, research questions and methodology of their projects, as well as some preliminary/indicative findings. Presentations are expected to be held in English.

The Experts: The experts who will be commenting PhD papers and give lectures are among others: Bea Cantillon (University of Antwerp); Simone Leiber (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Margarita Leon (Autonomous University of Barcelona). The workshop is organized by the German Section of the European Network for Social Policy Analysis (Espanet), the Research Institute for Societal Development (FGW) and the working group Comparative Welfare State Research of the German Political Science Association (DVPW). The organising committee consists of Diana Auth (University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld) Florian Blank (Institute of Economic and Social Research, Düsseldorf), Antonio Brettschneider (Research Institute for Societal Development, Düsseldorf), Ute Klammer (Research Institute for Societal Development, Düsseldorf/Institute for Work, Skills and Training, University of Duisburg-Essen) and Michaela Schulze (University of Trier).

Submission:  Please email an abstract of your research project (max. 500 words in English) to Diana Auth by October 31st 2017.

Cost: The participation in the workshop is free. We can offer some limited support for travel expenses; your application should make clear whether you would like to apply for financial support.

Paper: If your abstract is selected for presentation, we expect you to provide a short paper on your project by January 31th 2018 (ca. 6.000-10.000 words).

For more information and applications please contact Diana Auth (