Information in English

Professor for social policy, organisation and society
Department of Social Policy, Law and Sociology

Institute of Social Work and Social Welfare
Faculty of Human Sciences (FB 1)
University of Kassel
34109 Kassel

The chair explores developments and problems in the design and infrastructure of current welfare states, and this by addressing both institutional logics and organizational arrangements. The rationale underlying this approach is that, while such programs and services are embedded in distinctive national policies and frameworks, they are often managed and/or delivered by particular sets of (semi-) autonomous agencies which may be public, non-profit or commercial in nature; hence, organizational factors are crucial for the implementation of public policies. Social work settings are a case in point. Current research projects concentrate on manifestations and outcomes of increasingly hybrid and partially marketised systems of welfare provision, from a local, national, and international perspective.

Major Research areas

  • Comparative political sociology of mixed welfare systems
  • Work, professions and organisations in the welfare state
  • Changing governance in social and health care sectors


Personal Address Univ. of Kassel, FB 1, Institute of Social Work and Social Services, Department of Social Policy, Law and Sociology Arnold-Bode-Str. 10, 34109 Kassel, Germany, * (49) 561 809-2923

Personal biography

from April 2009:
Professor at the University of Kassel (social policy, organisation and society)

2007-2009 (March):
Visiting Professor at the University of Wuppertal

Lecturer at the School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh

2006 (spring):
Research Fellow at the «Direction de la recherché de la CNAV», Paris

Research Fellow of the German Research Association (DFG); invited to: University of Montréal, University of Kent

Guest Professor at the «Institut d’Études politiques» (‘Sciences Po’, Paris/Nancy)

Senior Researcher in a European research project coordinated by the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire pour la solidarité et l‘innovation sociale, Université Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium

Lecturer and associate professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of Duisburg-Essen

Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Trier

Researcher at the Department of Sociology, University of Marburg




(with Apelt, M., V. von Groddeck, R. Hasse, U. Meyer, M. Wilkesmann and A. Windeler, eds.), Handbuch Organisationssoziologie [Handbook of the sociology of organisations]. Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2020 (contributions online)].

(with S. Betzelt, ed.), Angst im neuen Wohlfahrtsstaat. Kritische Blicke auf ein diffuses Phänomen [Anxiety in the new welfare state. Critical perspectives on a diffuse phenomenon]. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2018.

(with W. Vogd, ed.), Mutationen des Krankenhauses. Soziologische Diagnosen in organisations- und gesellschaftstheoretischer Perspektive [The evolving hospital. Sociological assessments through the lens of organisational and social theory]. Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2016.

(with F. Wilke), Private Vorsorge als Illusion. Rationalitätsprobleme des neuen deutschen Rentenmodells [Private saving for old age as an illusion. Rationality problems in the new German pension model] Frankfurt/New York: Campus 2014.

(with H. Turba), Organisierter Kinderschutz in Deutschland. Strukturdynamiken und Modernisierungsparadoxien [Organised child protection in Germany. Structural dynamics and paradoxes in modernisation]. Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2014.

(with H. Brandenburg and B. Werner), Soziales Management in der stationären Altenhilfe. Kontexte und Gestaltungsoptionen [Social management in residential care. Contexts and Options]. Bern: Huber 2014.

Die Infrastruktur des postindustriellen Wohlfahrtsstaats. Organisation – Wandel – gesellschaftliche Hintergründe [The infrastructure of the postindustrial welfare state. Organisation, change, background]. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2013.

(with T. Marthaler, P. Bastian and M. Schrödter, ed.), Rationalitäten des Kinderschutzes. Kindeswohl und soziale Interventionen aus pluraler Perspektive [Rationalities of Child Protection Systems. Children’s well-being and social interventions from a plural perspective]. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2012.

(with A. Evers and A. Klein, ed.), Bürgergesellschaft als Projekt. Eine Bestandsaufnahme zu Entwicklung und Förderung zivilgesellschaftlicher Potenziale in Deutschland [The vision of civil society. The state of the art of the development and promotion of civic action in Germany]. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2009.

The culture of welfare markets. The international recasting of pension and care systems. New York/London: Routledge (Advances in Sociology) 2008.

Die Dynamik organisierter Beschäftigungsförderung. Eine qualitative Evaluation [The dynamics of work integration. A qualitative evaluation]. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2005.

Disorganisierter Wohlfahrtskapitalismus. Die Reorganisation des Sozialsektors in Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien [Disorganised welfare capitalism. The reorganisation of the social sector in Germany, France and Britain]. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2004.

Solidarität im Vorsorgestaat. Der französische Weg sozialer Sicherung und Gesundheitsversorgung [Solidarity in the precautionary state. The French way to social security and health care provision]: Frankfurt/New York: Campus 1999.

Die Organisation der Solidarität. Normative Interessenorganisationen der französischen Linken als Auslaufmodell mit Zukunft [The organisation of solidarity. Normative interest groups of the French left as a ‘phase-out model’ with a future]: Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag 1997.

(with S. Voswinkel and S. Lücking), Im Schatten des Fordismus. Industrielle Beziehungen in der Bauwirtschaft und im Gastgewerbe Deutschlands und Frankreichs [In the shadow of fordism. Industrial relations in the catering and construction industry of France and Germany]: München/Mering: Rainer Hampp 1996.

(with H.-G. Brose and S. Voswinkel), Die Regulierung der Deregulierung. Zeitarbeit und Verbändestrategien in Deutschland und Frankreich [The Deregulation of regulation. Temporary work and interest group strategies in Germany and France]: Opladen: Leske & Budrich 1994.

Major international articles and book chapters (selection)

(with R. Lüth) Disorientation in a capricious welfare market. The case of the German pension system, in: Ledoux, Clémence, van Hooren, Franca & Karen Shire (eds.), The Dynamics of Welfare Markets. Private Pensions, Domestic and Care Services in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming).

(mit H. Turba) Schizophrenic sensemaking as (non-)response to institutional ambiguity: The case of the German child protection industry, in: Human Service Organizations 44(1), 2020.

L’économie sociale et solidaire, un état des lieux réaliste sous l‘angle allemand et international, in: Informations sociales (199), 2019.

The post-corporatist rehabilitation system in Germany: High potential, critical moments, in: Harsløf, Ivan, Ingrid Poulsen & Kristian Larsen (eds.), New dynamics of disability and rehabilitation: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2019.

Let’s count and manage – and forget the rest. Understanding numeric rationalization in late modern welfare states, In: Historical Social Research 44(2), 2019.

Publicness in times of market accountability: Lessons from a changing hospital industry in Germany, in: Public Policy and Administration (34)1, 2019.

(with J. Culebro) Paradoxical internationalization. Regulatory reforms in the Mexican healthcare system through the lens of European experience, in: Politics & Policy (46)4, 2018.

Responsabilidad paradójica en el suministro de servicios públicos. El caso de la atención hospitalaria en Alemania y un experimento mental sobre México, in: Gestión y Política Pública 26 (número especial) 2017.

(with J-L- Oh) 독일 노인장기요양제도의 발달 - 사회적 현대화 관점을 중심으로The development of the long-term Care system in Germany. Social modernization with limitations, in: Korean Journal of Gerontological Social Welfare (72)1, 2017 (in Korean language).

Social services in post-industrial Europe. An incomplete success story and its tragic moments. In: Martinelli, Flavia, Anneli Anttonen & Margitta Mätzke (eds.), Social Services Disrupted – Implications and challenges for a crisis-ridden Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2017.

(with S. Betzelt), German Angst in a liberalized world of welfare capitalism. The hidden problem with post-conservative welfare policies. In: Social Policy Review 29, ed. by Menno Fenger, John Hudson and Catherine Needham. Bristol: Policy Press, 2017.

(with J. Lange & M. Märker), Caught in organized ambivalence – Institutional complexity and its implications in the German hospital sector, in: Public Management Review (19)7, 2017.

Governance and performance in a ‘marketized’ nonprofit sector. The case of German care homes, in: Administration & Society (49)2, 2017.

(with J. Breimo, H. Turba, O. Firbank & J.T. Sandvin), Networking enforced – Comparing social services’ collaborative rationales across different welfare regimes, in: Social Policy & Administration (51)7, 2017.

Liberalizzazione del corporativismo ? L’evoluzione del welfare mix tedesco in une prospettiva internazionale, in: Sociologia e Politiche Sociali (18)1, 2015.

A ‘world culture’ of institutional ambiguity? Comparing the reorganization of hospital care in Germany and Mexico, in: Current Sociology (63)3, 2015.

(with J. Culebro), La tensión entre la fragmentación y la integración en la reforma a los sistemas de salud. Un estudio comparativo entre Alemania y México, in: Región y sociedad (61), 2014.

(with T. Brandsen), Third sector-state partnerships: A short overview of key issues in the debate, in: Public Management Review (16)8, 2014.

(with F. Streicher), Régulations publiques territoriales et quasi-marché. L’organisation du «care» à domicile et ses effets dans trois modèles d’«État Social», in: Boucher, Manuel & Mohamed Belqasmi (eds.), L’État social dans tous ses états. Rationalisations, épreuves et réactions de l’intervention sociale. Paris: Harmattan 2014.

(with M. Märker), Medicine in management or medics in management? The changing role of doctors in German hospitals, in: International Journal of Public Management Review (27) 5, 2014.

In Futile Search of Excellence. The ‘muddling through agenda’ of service-providing ‘social enterprises’ in contemporary Europe, in: Denny, Simon & Fred Seddon (eds.), Social Enterprise: Accountability and Evaluation around the World, London: Routledge 2014.

State-Third Sector partnerships, in: Sarah Harper, & Kate Hamblin (eds.), International handbook on ageing and public policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 2013.

Processing institutional change in public service provision. The case of the German hospital sector, in: Public Organization Review (13)3, 2013.

(with J. T. Sandvin), The many rationales of welfare-to-work regimes, in: Comparative Journal of Social Work (7)2, 2012, Editorial, [online journal].

(with B. Champetier), L’européanisation des régimes de care aux aînés. Apports d’une méthode ouverte de comparaison, in: Sociologie (3)3, 2012.

A fuzzy picture: Social citizenship in post-corporatist Germany, in: Evers, Adalbert & Anne-Marie Guillemard (eds.), Social policy and citizenship. The changing landscape, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012.

(with L. Gardin and M. Nyssens), Quasi-marketization in domiciliary care: Varied patterns, similar problems? In: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy (31)3/4, 2011.

Creeping marketization and post-corporatist governance: The transformation of state–nonprofit relations in continental Europe, in: Phillips, Susan D. & Steven Rathgeb Smith (eds.), Governance and regulation in the Third sector, London: Routledge 2011.

Thinking Beyond Borderlines. A German gaze on a changing interface between society and the voluntary sector, in: Voluntary Sector Review (1)2, 2010.

Towards disorganised governance in public service provision? The case of German sickness funds, in: International Journal of Public Administration (33)2, 2010.

Social care going market. Institutional and cultural change regarding care services for the elderly, in: Comparative Journal of Social Work [online journal] (5)1, 2010.

Recent and current research

Current field research

EMOSOL – Emotion regimes and solidarity in interaction work

Duration: 2020 – 2022

The project, managed in cooperation with Prof Sigrid Betzelt (HWR Berlin), examines associations between emotional pressures and attitudes towards solidarity within organisations providing elderly care and special vocational training, with an eye on both internal relations and the encounter with user groups. The background are rising objective uncertainties for such organisations owing to: increasing economic risks (enhanced competition); pressures from quality inspection; and managerialist governance translating, among other things, into precarious employment conditions. Given a general decline of social cohesion in contemporary welfare capitalism, we are interested both in these objective constraints as well as the subjective processes of handling them, including with regard to the encounter between workers and users who themselves often feel anxious about their life prospects. The investigation is organised by case studies based on different types of qualitative data (organisations’ documents, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, expert interviews). Our hypothesis is that the rising (objective) uncertainties and the aforementioned pressures lead to a new kind of “emotion regime” in which anxiety and / or frustration proliferate and echo similar feelings in society at large. We assume that internal and external dynamics are interrelated and combine to impact on attitudes and practices of solidarity between employees, with vulnerable user groups, and also regarding other social groups perceived as competing for welfare resources. Moreover, we seek to gain knowledge about how emotional strain might be reduced in the work settings under study.

Private Empowerment? The functionality of hybrid social projects, taking the example of street papers

The project, conducted in cooperation with Hannu Turba, looks at the development, problems and outcomes of social projects meant to empower people by market means and entrepreneurial agency, both an expression of the mantra of ‘private empowerment’ proliferating in both academic and political circles for some time now. The empirical case is street papers sold for and/or by homeless people in selected German cities. The interest lies in understanding the background and ramifications of these projects, including the approach of initiators/managers; the perspective of involved marginalized citizens (vendors); and the reaction by the wider audience (including buyers). The investigation connects with a research seminar at the University of Kassel, supported by funds dedicated to this purpose.

Further lines of research, based on past field work

Paradoxical modernization in child protection

- recent paper: (with H. Turba) Schizophrenic sensemaking as (non-)response to institutional ambiguity: The case of the German child protection industry, in: Human Service Organizations 44(1), 2020, 9-31.

Coping with ambivalence in the hospital sector

- recent paper: Publicness in times of market accountability: Lessons from a changing hospital industry in Germany, in: Public Policy and Administration 34(1), 2019, 3-21.

Anxiety and disorientation in retirement provision

- recent paper: (with R. Lüth) Disorientation in a capricious welfare market. The case of the German pension system, in: Ledoux, C, F. van Hooren & K. Shire (eds.), The Dynamics of Welfare Markets. Private Pensions, Domestic and Care Services in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan forthcoming 2020.