Deutsche Version  

The Collaborative Research Center 597 "Transformations of the State"

was supported by the University of Bremen, Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Oldenburg and completed work in December 2014.

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 Our results indicate that the state has generally withdrawn from the supply of services such as telecommunications, electricity and postal distribution.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 third phase (2011-2014) we examined how the changes were 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?

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