Forthcoming Workshops

Doctoral researcher workshops typically last between two to three days. They are normally organized under a specific theme. Doctoral students take part in lectures and discussions with experienced scholars in the field. They present their projects (theory, methods, findings, interpretations etc.) in small groups and receive comments from experts and fellow PhD researchers. All workshop programmes offer ample opportunity for academic exchange and networking. Between 2007 and 2012 some workshops are jointly organised with RECWOWE, the European Network of Excellence on 'reconciling work and welfare in Europe'.

Call for Papers for the 4th Doctoral Workshop of the German ESPAnet Section

What Welfare States do to People and how People use Welfare State Programmes

University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, Faculty of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, 28 - 29 May 2015

Welfare States in industrialised countries have transformed considerably during the last decades. Although different in timing and degree, many countries have introduced reforms influenced by such ideas as activating welfare recipients, investive social policy, enhancing efficiency of welfare provision by market competition, furthering individual responsibility, choice, customer-orientation and autonomy. Against the backdrop of changing welfare state paradigms, we are interested in understanding what such kinds of policies actually do to people, and how people make use of new welfare state programmes implementing these ideas. While many studies have focused on categorising and explaining welfare state change, this call is interested in papers studying policy effects in terms of outcomes (e.g., effects on poverty, the quality of service provision, or working conditions in the social services sector) as well as behaviour (e.g., reactions of the insured, welfare recipients, or service providers).

We invite submissions of papers from PhD students who focus on the following aspects:

Country case studies as well as comparative papers on the effects of labour market activation policies; privatisation and marketisation of pension, health, care or other schemes; the introduction of new (investment driven) care policies; changes in local programmes, e.g. housing, youth and family welfare; shifting responsibilities between different welfare state institutions or major actors; as well as studies on the day-to-day strategies of welfare recipients and users of different programmes or services.

The workshop seeks to bring together PhD students from German and international universities and research institutions. We welcome papers from different theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives. Special emphasis is given to discussing preliminary results of the PhD theses. So researchers should be in a position to present the overall framework, research questions and methodology of their projects, as well as some preliminary/indicative findings. Papers and presentations should be provided in English. Presentations will be grouped according to subject areas into three to four panels with senior researchers as commentators.

The workshop is organised by the German Section of the European Social Policy Association ESPAnet (, an interdisciplinary organisation of social policy research at European level, and supported by the social policy sections of the German sociology (DGS) and political science (DVPW) associations. Senior researchers at the workshop include:

  • Prof. Dr. Ingo Bode, University of Kassel (DGS, social policy section)
  • Prof. Dr. Jochen Clasen, University of Edinburg
  • Dr. Irene Dingeldey, University of Bremen (DVPW, working group welfare states in comparison)
  • Prof. Dr. Anne Lise Ellingsaeter, University of Oslo
  • Prof. Dr. Achim Goerres, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer, University of Duisburg-Essen (DGS, social policy section)
  • Prof. Dr. Simone Leiber, University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf (German ESPAnet Section)
  • Prof. Dr. Sigrid Leitner, University of Applied Sciences Cologne
  • Prof. Dr. Annette Henninger, University of Marburg

To apply, please send by email an abstract of your research project (max. 500 words in English) to Simone Leiber (see below) by January 31st, 2015. We can offer some limited support for travel expenses; your application should make clear whether you would like to apply for financial support. If your abstract is selected for presentation, we expect you to provide a short paper on your project by April 30th, 2015 (approx. 6,000-10,000 words). For more information and applications please contact Simone Leiber (


ESPAnet doctoral workshop on ‘Health Impacts of Social Policy’

Stockholm 25-26 September 2015

Social policies affect living conditions in different ways. Whereas effects of social policy are typically assessed in terms of income and work status of individuals, welfare states also have important consequences for health, both at individual and population levels. Not only health care is of relevance, but also the ways in which countries have organized their cash benefit programs, such as social insurance, social assistance and family benefits.

The purpose of this workshop is to address health impacts of social policy by discussing the role of both cash and care. The target group is PhD students from various disciplines and at different stages in their education. We will allow for a maximum of 20 participants. The workshop provides possibilities for PhD students to present their work and to discuss their research with colleagues and experienced researchers.

Papers should address the main theme of the doctoral workshop. Although comparative and cross-national studies are particularly welcome, single country analyses may also be presented. In particular, we encourage studies that investigate the nexus of cash and care, either qualitatively or quantitatively.


There are short plenary lectures/presentations by senior scholars and parallel paper sessions by PhD students. Plenary lectures are held by:

  • Professor Jason Beckfield (Harvard University)
  • Professor Johan Fritzell (Karolinska Institutet/Stockholm University)
  • Professor Olle Lundberg (Karolinska Institutet/Stockholm University)
  • Professor Kenneth Nelson (Stockholm University)
  • Professor Joakim Palme (Uppsala University)
  • Professor Claus Wendt (University of Siegen)


Students are expected to cover travel and accommodation costs. Lunches and one workshop dinner are kindly offered to all participants. Certificate of acceptance is provided upon request.


Participants are selected based on relevance, originality and quality of their research. Applications should include a title and an abstract (up to 600 words), and a short CV (maximum two pages). Applications are sent to Deadline for applications are 15 March 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 April 2015. Final papers should be submitted by 30 August 2015.