PhD Applicant Wanted for Welfare State Research

Deadline: 15 December 2012
Open to: candidates with PhD in political science
Remuneration:  according to TV-L 13: a gross salary of about €3110 per month


The research project ‘Welfare State Transformation in Small Open Economies’ at the Collaborative Research Center 597 Transformations of the State’, University of Bremen (Germany) is currently searching for a postdoctoral researcher (full-time) specialized in comparative welfare state research.

This position offers the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary environment about questions of welfare state change and changes in ‘statehood’ more generally. Based on a mixed-method approach, the project examines the political consequences of recent welfare state reforms in advanced democracies. They are therefore looking for a scholar with a strong interest in comparative welfare state research.

The position starts February 2013 (earliest) and ends on 31 December, 2014. Payment is according to TV-L 13: For a single person this means a gross salary of about €3110 per month and about €3450 after one year. 

The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) ‘Transformations of the State’ is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and is the first institution of that kind in the domain of political sciences in Germany. Its interdisciplinary and internationally-oriented character renders working at the CRC a stimulating research experience. The center, which was set up in January 2003, has been supported by the University of Bremen, Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Oldenburg.

Scholars in political science, law, sociology ,economics and communication studies work together to determine if, and precisely how, pressure from globalization and liberalization over the past thirty years have changed the core institutions and functions that define the classical nation state. The results of the first phase of research (2003-2006) have shown fundamental changes in the role of the state. But the oft-heard pronouncements that politics and the nation-state are on the fast track to extinction and multi-national companies are usurping governing powers, appear to be exaggerated. Their results indicate that the state has generally withdrawn from the supply of services such as telecommunications, electricity and postal distribution. However, it still maintains the final political responsibility.

In the second phase of research (2007-2010) the center attempted to determine the precise causes and driving forces behind each of the observed changes in nation state services and institutions. Secular major trends such as globalization or individualization function as essentially precise causes which can rarely explain the differences in national reactions. In this case institutional or ideally precise causes play a major role.

In the current third phase (2011-2014) they are now examining how the changes are affecting the supply of the state’s normative services such as security, governance, welfare and legitimacy. Are fewer of these services produced or is its quality decreasing?


Candidates are expected to hold a doctoral degree in political science (or a related discipline) and to have a good publication record in comparative social policy.

Applicants should have good knowledge of quantitative methods (notably TSCS analysis or multi-level analysis) or comparative case study methods and process tracing. Moreover, a good command of English is expected.

Applicants should be team-oriented and demonstrate a strong motivation to pursue an academic career. Teaching obligation is one course per semester.

As the University of Bremen intends to increase the proportion of female employees in science women are particularly encouraged to
apply. In case of equal personal aptitudes and qualification disabled persons will be given priority.


By 15 December 2012, please send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae and a list of publications electronically (pdf-file) to:

Professor Herbert Obinger
Center for Social Policy Research
University of Bremen, Germany
E-Mail: [email protected]

For further details please visit the website HERE.

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