Welfare States in Times of Globalization

Tuesday, 15. October 2013 | 11:00 Uhr


Gerhard Bäcker


University Duisburg-Essen


In his presentation, Professor Gerhard Bäcker of the University of Duisburg-Essen asked: “Does ‘globalization result in the end of welfare states as they have evolved in Europe? Does what is ‘social’ in society get lost in the fight for returns, markets and export quota? Are the drastic cuts in the social fabric currently being executed in the southern European countries harbingers of a general trend?”
When addressing these issues, it is appropriate not to be guided by grim horror scenarios alone. Because it is not abstractly ‘globalization’ that is putting pressure on the welfare state: “Rather, what is decisive – is which political strategies will be pursued in order to harmonize economic efficiency and social equity even under conditions marked by economic, social and demographic challenges. A comparison of European countries shows that it is these fundamental decisions that determine the future of the welfare state,” he explained.
Particularly his remarks on labor productivity and related wage segments of the individual countries raised questions with the audience. The tax avoidance strategies of service companies were also questioned. What is the impact of these strategies on the welfare state? Watch the video and learn more about the topic.

Gerhard Bäcker

Gerhard Bäcker studied economics at the University of Cologne. After completing his studies in 1973, he was assistant at the Institute for Social Politics and worked in research projects at the Institute for Social Research and Social Policies in Cologne. From 1977 until 1996, he was a scientific lecturer at WSI of the Hans Böckler Foundation. In 1981, he received his PhD from the University of Bremen. Between 1996 and 2002, he taught politics at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach.
Until the beginning of 2012, he was professor for Sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen and between 2005 and mid 2010, he directed the Dean’s Office for Social Sciences on the campus of Duisburg. At the same time, he was deputy director of the Institute for Labor and Qualification. In March 2012, he retired and since then he is a senior fellow of the Institute for Labor and Qualification.

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