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The Collaborative Research Center 597 "Transformations of the State"

which was set up in January 2003, has been supported by the University of Bremen, Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Oldenburg.

Scholars in political science, law, sociology, economics and communication studies work together to determine if, and precisely how, pressure from globalization and liberalization over the past thirty years have changed the core institutions and functions that define the classical nation state. The results of the first phase of research (2003-2006) have shown fundamental changes in the role of the state. But the oft-heard pronouncements that politics and the nation-state are on the fast track to extinction and multi-national companies are usurping governing powers, appear to be exaggerated. Our results indicate that the state has generally withdrawn from the supply of services such as telecommunications, electricity and postal distribution. However, it still maintains the final political responsibility.

In the second phase of research (2007-2010) we attempted to determine the precise causes and driving forces behind each of the observed changes in nation state services and institutions. Secular major trends such as globalization or individualization function as essentially precise causes which can rarely explain the differences in national reactions. In this case institutional or ideally precise causes play a major role.

In the current third phase (2011-2014) we are now examining how the changes are affecting the supply of the state's normative services such as security, governance, welfare and legitimacy. Are fewer of these services produced or is its quality decreasing?

Spokesman of the CRC 597
Prof. Dr. Stephan Leibfried
University of Bremen
Linzer Str. 9a, R 2017, 28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218 56665, Fax +49 421 218 56633

Welfare Societies - Coping with InstabilitiesThe CRC 597 "Transformations of the State" is one of the supporting institutions of the Welfare Societies - Coping with Instabilities research network.