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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Comparative Politics

Health and Welfare

Health and Welfare in the 21st Century

Invented at the end of the 19th century in consequence of the industrial revolution and its ‘social question,’ the welfare state faces enormous challenges in the 21st century.  Population aging, the emergence of post-industrial economies, globalization, transnational migration, European integration, and regional economic competition are some of the most well-known issues. In the health care area, the consequences of the tremendous advances in genetic analysis and engineering, the pandemic spreading of infectious disease, the role of behavior, and coping with global inequality all pose additional burdens. These challenges—as well as the significant scientific progress already achieved—require a fundamental theoretical and empirical re-orientation of our research on the welfare state. Moreover, such a reconceptualization of the welfare state requires a comparative-historical analysis of the historical development and the historical specificity of European welfare states, because only against this background can we adequately address the dynamics and future paths of both European and global welfare state development.

This structured doctoral program aims to prepare young scholars to take the initiative in developing the next generation of basic research and theory-building on the welfare state. We are specifically seeking researchers that are prepared to apply a global perspective and to undertake pioneering research on the welfare state, and that are willing to enlarge their social scientific perspective to include historical and intercultural dimensions


Monica Andriescu

Denis Cohen

Rob Gruijters

Aenne Oetjen

Gergane Stolarova

Tim Winke