No “European Social Model” or Welfare State Without Labour ? Future Alternatives for Sustainable Welfare Societies

Wednesday, 16. October 2013 | 8:30 Uhr


Bernd Marin


European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna


Professor Bernd Marin, Executive Director of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research in Vienna discussed how to make modern welfare societies sustainable. The welfare society is a great historical achievement of the 20th century and is by no means obsolete per se, but – is in urgent need of an overhaul. He added: “Its modernization requires a new definition of the philosophy, key concepts, funding base, organizational principles, social policies, and programs. Redesigning social security means reinventing retirement, work, prosperity, health, and welfare.”
Europe’s core problem is the 127 million people out of work in their prime working age: this includes 100 million people who are not generating any income as well as an additional nearly 27 million unemployed. Since 1973, the three major welfare promises, i.e. full employment, productivity-oriented income growth, and secure pensions or social security and human services for education, health, healthcare and social issues have continuously been broken or gradually revoked despite maximum and sometimes further rising social spending.
It is also interesting to note that many people do not work for 13 to 18 years during their working age. Be this because of studying, maternity, or early retirement. With a wink, Bernd Marin submitted the question of whether in the future, people would go straight from university to retirement.

Bernd Marin

Prof. Dr. Bernd Marin, born in Vienna in 1948, is Executive Director of the European Centre since 1988. From 1984 to 1988 he was Professor of Comparative Political and Social Research at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, where he was also Head of the Department of Political and Social Sciences (1986 – 1987).

After studies of social sciences at the University of Vienna and a post-graduate training at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, he became Research Fellow and later Deputy Director of the Institute for Conflict Research in Vienna from 1975 to 1984. In this period he also completed his Habilitation in Linz and carried-out post-doctoral research at Harvard University (1978/79), a visiting professorship (Warsaw 1981) and several visiting lectures across Europe.

Since 1972 he taught sociology, political science, government and socio-economics in various Austrian universities (University of Vienna, Economic University of Vienna, universities in Linz and Innsbruck). Since 1981, Prof. Marin lectured in universities in Europe and overseas, i.a. Harvard, M.I.T, Columbia, New York University (NYU), New School of Social Research, New York, City University of New York (CUNY), Cornell, Berkeley, Los Angeles (UCLA), Montréal, Budapest, Moscow, Roskilde, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Kent, Bielefeld, Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po) Paris, Jerusalem, Tokyo and was visiting professor in Zurich, Warsaw, Florence, Vienna and Innsbruck.
Lately, in March 2010, he was Profesor Visitante por el Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud, Fundación H.A. Barceló, Faculdad de Medicina, Buenos Aires and was Visiting Professor of Social Policy at the European Forum of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, jointly run by the Social Sciences, Humanities and Law Faculties in May 2011.

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