Call for papers International PhD Conference March 19-21 2018 in Hamburg (new deadline Jan. 28 2018)

International PhD Conference and Expert Seminar

“New Trends in the Development of Work-Family Policies, Gender and Care – Causes, Dynamics and Consequences”

The ESPAnet PhD conference will be at the University of Hamburg March 19-21 2018
New deadline for abstracts: January 28, 2018

Since the 1970s, welfare state policies towards childcare and long-term care (LTC) for older people in need of care have experienced fundamental reforms in many countries. They were often based on the extension of social rights and a publicly funded infrastructure for childcare and LTC for older people. At the same time, the way in which welfare state institutions are framing care work of formal care workers and of caring family members have changed. Policy reforms that started in the 1990s were also in part based on political support for the outsourcing and marketization of care, particularly in the field of LTC policy for older people. In part, the cultural ideas towards the ‘ideal’ forms of care and about the ideal type of caregiver have also changed.

This PhD Conference aims to analyze change in welfare state policies towards the interaction of family, care (childcare, elderly care) and employment and why it to some extent went along different trajectories in different welfare states. It also evaluates the role of cultural ideas, institutional traditions and actors for this development and for the explanation of cross-national differences. The conference aims as well to explore the actual structures of care work and the work-family relationship in the context of welfare state policies, and the consequences for social inequality on the basis of gender, social class, and ethnicity. It will also be discussed which theoretical approaches and concepts are suitable for comparative and cross-national analyses.

The PhD Conference will address the following research questions:
* What are new trends in the development of care policies (policies for childcare and long-term care for senior citizens) of welfare states, and how do they differ in a cross-national perspective?
* How is it possible to explain change and cross-national differences in the development of care policies?
* What is the relationship between care policies and the structures of care work in the field of childcare and LTC for older people?
* What are the consequences of new developments in the policies and structures of care and care work for social inequality in relation to social class, gender and ethnicity?
* How useful are the common theoretical concepts of social sciences that address these issues, how could they be further developed, and how far is it possible to use concepts which might fit better?
* What are useful designs and methods of comparative research, and which quantitative and qualitative data are suitable?

The PhD Conference is organized by the University of Hamburg, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, and the European Social Policy Analysis Network ESPAnet. It is planned for two and a half days. It offers plenary sessions with lectures of leading social scientists in the field from different countries, and sessions in which PhD students present draft papers about their PhD research which they aim to develop further for publication. The invited senior social scientists will act as discussants of the presentations of the PhD students.

The PhD Seminar is targeted at advanced PhD students who in their dissertation project are aiming to further develop theoretical concepts and research about new trends in welfare state policies and structures of childcare and care for senior citizens. It will be possible for 24 PhD researchers to participate.


The following international leading welfare state researchers will act as lecturers and commentators at the ESPAnet PhD Conference and Expert Seminar:

Mary Daly, University of Oxford, UK
Yueh-Ching Chou, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Guðný Eydal, University of Iceland, Iceland
Teppo Kröger, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Birgit Pfau-Effinger, University of Hamburg, Germany
Costanzo Ranci, Politechnico di Milan, Italy
Tine Rostgaard, VIVE – The Danish Centre of Applied Social Science, Denmark
Hildegard Theobald, University of Vechta, Germany

Submit Abstracts
We invite PhD students to send an abstract (350-500 words) of the paper that they aim to present at the PhD Conference to the organisers. Accepted participants will submit a draft for an article by March 10, 2018. Participants who have problems to finance the travel costs and accommodation can apply for financial support by the organisers. For this purpose, a limited amount of finances is available.

Submit abstract by January 28, 2018 to Dr. Ralf Och, e-mail:

Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Birgit Pfau-Effinger (also member of Board of ESPAnet) and Team, Dept. of Social Sciences, University of Hamburg, Germany