IPW Lecture with Carlo Knotz

On 4. June 2019 Carlo Knotz held his IPW Lecture on the topic "The Politics and Sociology of ‘Getting Tough on Unemployment’: New Data and Insights".

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Abstract:

Over the last decades there has been a pronounced trend toward tighter benefit conditionality across the advanced democracies, in particular in the case of benefits for the unemployed. Until recently, however, the very limited availability of systematic cross-country data on the conditionality of social protection benefits has posed a serious constraint to research into the political drivers behind this trend and the effects of these policies. A new comparative database on the strictness of unemployment benefit conditions and sanctions in 21 advanced democracies since the 1980s now allows researchers to move past this constraint. In his talk, Carlo will present this new database, novel findings based on this database, and still open questions that this database can help answering.

 IPW Lecture with Hanna Kienzler

On 05.06.2019 Hanna Kienzler held an IPW Lecture on the topic "The Politics of Mental Health System Reform in Contexts of Humanitarian Emergencies. Toward a Theory of 'Practice-Based Evidence".

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Abstract:

Humanitarian emergencies such as armed conflicts are increasingly perceived as opportunities to improve mental health systems in fragile states. Research has been conducted into what building blocks are required to reform mental health systems in states emerging from wars and into the barriers to reform. What is less well known is what work and activities are actually performed when mental health systems in war-affected resource-poor countries are reformed. Questions that remain unanswered are: What is it that international humanitarian aid workers and local experts do on the ground? What are the actual activities they perform in order to enable and sustain system reform? This talk begins to answer these questions through ethnographic case studies of mental health system reform in Kosovo and Palestine. Based on the findings, a theory of “practice-based evidence” is developed. Practice-based evidence assumes that knowledge is derived from practice, rather than the other way around where practice is believed to be informed by systematic evidence. It is argued that a focus on practice rather than evidence can improve system reform processes as well as the provision of mental health care in a way that is sensitive to local contexts, structural realities, culture, and history.

 IPW Lecture with Béla Greskovits

On 17.01.2019 Béla Greskovits held an IPW Lecture on the topic "Civic Activism, Economic Nationalism, and Welfare for the Better-Off: Pillars of Hungary’s Illiberal State".

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Abstract of the lecture:
Explaining the remarkable political success of Premier Viktor Orbán’s illiberal state, the presentation makes two arguments. First, this success is traced to the Hungarian right’s superior embeddedness in civil society. Founded by Orbán in 2002, the Civic Circles Movement mobilized all fractions of the right to catch up in terms of contentious and non-contentious civic activism with the left and liberals. After eight years in opposition, the accumulated social capital turned into political capital leading to a landslide victory of the Fidesz party at the 2010 elections, and helping the consolidation of illiberal rule ever since. Second, after 2010, the resilience of Fidesz in power is also supported by its hybrid strategy of mobilizing consent of the „haves” internally, and satisfying veto-players externally. This strategy combines noisy rhetorics and policies of change with quiet policies of continuity. It rebalances cautious economic nationalism and neoliberalism; welfare protection for the „haves” and workfare for the „have-nots”; and buys time for enduring political dominance at present at the price of erosion of competititve advantages in future.

 IPW Lecture with Flavia Fossati

On 22.10.2018 Flavia Fossati held an IPW Lecture on the topic "Labour market integration of immigrants: The employers‘ perspective".

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Abstract of the lecture:
Labour market integration is one of the most promising ways to integrating immigrants into a host society. However, there are different reasons why immigrants have a harder time obtaining a job. Beyond human and social capital issues (e.g. certificate recognition, language skills, etc.) sometimes also employers’ discriminatory behaviour hinders a successful labour market integration. This presentation explores when and why employers discriminate immigrants, and asks whether there are individual characteristics of immigrants (e.g. hobbies, volunteering activities, etc.) and/or policies (e.g. active labour market program participation) that can help mitigating the disadvantages immigrants face on the labour market.

 IPW Lecture with Mette Nordahl Svendsen

On 05.10.2018  Mette Nordahl Svendsen held an IPW Lecture on the topic "Humans, Pigs, and Genomes at the Borders: How the Danish Welfare State Metabolizes Life".

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Abstract of the lecture:
In this talk, I track policies and public discussions in relation to the border crossings of humans, pigs, and genomes in and out of Denmark. By bringing together these diverse forms of life, I aim to think anew about who or what may cross the physical and electronic borders of Denmark. Regulating the flow of bodies and genomes to enter this collectivity has been the center of gravity in welfare state life politics and central to building up the Danish welfare state, itself, from eugenics, through breeding of livestock—especially pigs—to prenatal diagnostics, and genomic and migration policies. In scrutinizing how the welfare collectivity gains its shape from what enters, is rejected, or becomes connected and transformed in the welfare state, I introduce the concept of the welfare state metabolism. I ask how this metabolism works, how it regulates what can go in and out Denmark, and how various forms of life—humans, pigs, genomes—are transformed to life-sustaining fuel for the collectivity. I show how these figures are metabolized in ways that are not only parallel but also intersect. Borders and border crossings reveal themselves as being at the center of the welfare collectivity.

 IPW Lecture mit Hendrik Wagenaar

On the 16.05.2018 Hendrik Wagenaar held an IPW Lecture on the topic "The Emergence of Civic Enterprise: Bottom-Up Social Innovation and the Possibilities for Democratic Renewal in the Administrative State".

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Abstract of the lecture:
Over the last two decades Civic Enterprises (CEs) have emerged in virtually every European country addressing a wide range of social needs, such as work integration, child care, adult care, urban renewal, community development, social welfare delivery, and sustainable energy. Civic enterprises may become sites of innovation and experimentation with new forms of organisation, financing and governance. Based on fieldwork in the Netherlands, I describe how citizens navigate the political-administrative environment in which their civic enterprise operates and how they position themselves within and against that environment. In the second part of my presentation I address the key question to what extent these bottom-up citizen initiatives are able to scale up to more enduring, institutionalized democratic innovation. Alternatively I interpret them as a form of social innovation, as a counter-institution within a radical democratic framework, and as hybrid forms of governance within a culture of administrative democratisation.

 IPW Lecture von Bernhard Rieder zum Nachhören

On 21.03.2018 Bernhard Rieder held an IPW Lecture on the topic "Against Ethics in Data Mining. For a Political Discussion of a Political Issue".

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Find the slides of the lecture here.

Abstract of the lecture:
This talk will discuss data mining understood as the purpose driven reading of empirical reality in relation to recent debates about the "ethical issues" raised by these practices. While the identification of such issues and proposals for possible "solutions" certainly has merit, we should ask what the focus on codes of conduct and on values such as privacy, transparency, and accountability leaves unsaid and unexamined. Such an interrogation must engage the epistemological specificities of data mining practices as well as their embedding in larger technical systems, regulatory regimes, and systems of value. Through this, I hope to frame data mining as a political problem that requires a broader scope than ethical reasoning alone can provide.