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Modern Welfare Regimes: A Thoroughly Secular World?

Prof. Dr. Klaus Weber


3/6/9 ECTS

Seminar: MASS: Politik und Kultur // MEK: Wirtschaftskulturen

Montag, 14:15 - 15:45 Uhr, Ort: AM 202, Veranstaltungsbeginn: 15.10.2018


To the pressing social problems which sprang up with industrialisation and urbanisation in 19th-century Europe, workers responded with mutual aid associations, and the ascending bourgeoisie with voluntary charitable initiatives (e.g. the Rothschild banking dynasty, or the Krupp steel magnates). At the same time, the church(es) continued to be an important provider of support to the poor. This was one of the fields in which they compensated for the loss of power since the French Revolution, the creation of nation states in Italy and Germany, etc. When states launched the first major welfare programmes (e.g. Bismarck’s mandatory health and pensions schemes, in the 1880s and 90s), these were not fully embraced by the churches, working class associations, and entrepreneurs. Faith was a key factor shaping such reluctance, not only among conservatives, but even among the working class (in particular in Britain). More recent research from history and social sciences has shown that faith is also a key for understanding the specific profiles of modern welfare regimes, which took shape in the course of the 20th century – roughly distinguishing a continental European, a British, and a Scandinavian model. The topic also touches on present day problems, such as cutbacks in  welfare provision, incompatibilities of welfare regimes within the EU, or the impact of demography on old age provision.

Literatur: Kees van Kersbergen / Philip Manow (eds): Religion, Class Coalitions and Welfare Regimes. Cambridge (CambridgeUniv. Press) 2009. Philip Manow: 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly': Esping-Andersen’s Regime Typology and the Religious Roots of the Western Welfare State. Köln (Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung) Working Paper 2004. Gøsta Esping-Andersen: The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge (Polity Press) 1990.


Hinweise zur Veranstaltung/zum Blockseminar: Excursion: Evangelisches Johannesstift, created in Berlin Spandau in 1858.