Social policy, organisation and society

The professorship is concerned with the foundations and problematics of social policy development with a special interest in the organization of welfare and health care. Particular attention is given to recent dynamics regarding programmes and services in these fields. This is undertaken by addressing both institutional logics and organizational arrangements. The rationale underlying this approach is that, while such programmes and services are embedded in distinctive policies at national level, they are often managed and/or delivered by particular sets of (FG semi-) autonomous agencies which may be public, non-profit or commercial in nature; hence, organizational factors are crucial for the implementation of social policies. The current research concentrates on two aspects, first, the manifestations and outcomes of increasingly hybrid and partially marketised systems of welfare provision and, second, infrastructural change across the social welfare and health care sector. Local, national, and international perspectives inform the analysis in both research areas.

With a view to training, the department addresses occupational fields in the area of personal services, social work, health and social administration, and associations and government institutions. This is intended to make students more attuned to the backgrounds and social/political/economic conditionality of established institutional mechanisms and the inherent dynamics of implementing them in organisations. In addition, this provides future graduates with in-depth knowledge of those participants and institutions with which they will deal later – sometimes in management functions – at the local and national level in practical professional life. Moreover, at the interface between social policy on the one hand and public planning or intervention management on the other, it is also a matter of pointing out the strategic/political dimensions of practical concepts, also with a view toward the potential for social change.

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