Workshop 1

Germany as a model

Models serve as examples for imitation or they represent the – mostly miniaturised – imitation of an exemplary entity (model-making). In model theory, however, model means a simplified image of some original.

The ‘German Model’ has lost its attraction. In social sciences, however, the attempt to think of Germany in terms of a model is pretty much in vogue. Thus, the economic mainstream recommends adopting the US model, whereas the EU presents the European social model as an alternative. Fifteen years after reunification, the question arises whether in the new federal states in the East a distinctly East German economic and social model has developed (instead of adapting to the ‘old’ Federal Republic). What’s becoming of the German employment model? How efficient is the innovation model and how can it be modified in an ecologically sustainable fashion?

This thinking in models stands for three tendencies: Firstly, economy and society are again placed into one development context, whereas before they were seen as almost hostile entities. Whether the Social Democrat’s debate on hedge funds or the CDU’s taking stock after the elections – the actors are doubtful whether ‘Rhenish Capitalism’ does really work better with less ‘social junk’. Obviously a market economy needs some sort of social embedding. Secondly, in the present transformation the Federal Republic is comparing itself with a – however perceived – past and with models represented by other countries. Be it within the frame of EU benchmarking or compared internationally: the search goes on for viable and transmittable socioeconomic constellations. And, thirdly, the scope for political decision-making as regards to the socioeconomic development takes centre-stage; because if economic and social models cannot be designed, what would be the point of comparing them internationally?

Socioeconomic reporting aims at the subject-matter of these controversies: How is the social and economic development context to be observed? Aggravating matters is the assumption that the German production and social model is undergoing a fundamental change –with an open ending.

The first of six soeb workshops deals with the consequences of this topical extension. We want to learn about other research and reporting approaches and obtain their comments on our own conceptual reflections. Finally, we intend to discuss towards which political and normative concepts the observation of the changing production and social model should be oriented.

(Peter Bartelheimer, Tatjana Fuchs) February 21st/22nd, 2010

Results (German)
Flyer PDF
Diskussionspapier PDF
Pressemitteilung PDF
Ergebnisbericht PDF
Lectures (German)
Peter Bartelheimer: Umbruch des Produktions- und Sozialmodells PDF
Roland Roth: Die regulationstheoretische Perspektive PDF
Frieder Otto Wolf: Europäisches Sozialmodell PDF
Waltraud Cornelißen: Geschlechtergerechtigkeit in Deutschland PDF
Karin Kurz: Analysen von Erwerbsverläufen PPT
Jean Michel Bonvin: Employment and Labour Market Regulation PDF
Ortrud Leßmann: Lebenslage- und Capabilty-Ansatz PDF
Petra Böhnke: Gesellschaftliche Teilhabe PDF
Sebastian Brandl: Nachhaltigkeit PDF
Norbert Schwarz: Makroökonomische Ansätze PDF
Jan Marbach: Veränderungen des Sozialkapitals PDF
Jan Marbach: Social Capital PDF
Heinz Herbert Noll: Kommentar zum Werkstattgespräch PDF