Presse Press release

A decisive factor for democracy: Female empowerment

Female empowerment is a core driver of democratization. Researchers from Western Australia and from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center draw this conclusion from an analysis of longitudinal data on 123 countries covering the period 1980 to 2005. Paula Wyndow, Jianghong Li, and Eugen Mattes question the widespread presumption that it is democratization that leads to improvements in women’s lives. Their findings suggest a reversed causality: Female educational attainment, women’s labour force participation, and low fertility rates jointly pave the way for moving a country towards democracy. more
Presse When parents need care

Not all siblings become caregivers, a new study shows

Siblings are not equally involved in caregiving when their ageing parents start needing care. In 75 percent of all cases, only one adult child will become a caregiver. Mothers are primarily cared for by their daughters, whereas sons continue to be less willing to become the sole caregivers for their parents. In families without daughters, brothers frequently divide the caregiving work among them. These are the findings that WZB researcher Marcel Raab recently published in a study co-authored with Henriette Engelhardt (University of Bamberg) and Thomas Leopold (University of Amsterdam). The authors used data from the United States to find out why siblings are not equally involved in caregiving for their parents. more
Publikationen American Sociological Review

Immigration and the welfare state

Researchers have long contended that immigration undermines public support for welfare state policies. Purportedly, the native born lack solidarity with immigrants, so they are less supportive of welfare benefits when immigration is high. David Brady and Ryan Finnigan recently reviewed this argument. Using 1996 and 2006 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) data for 17 affluent democracies—including Western European countries, the United States, Canada, and Australia—they analyzed public attitudes regarding retirement and unemployment benefits. They find some evidence that immigration reduces support for public employment, but the most important finding in their study is that immigration does not fundamentally undermine public support for social policies. more
Presse Press release

Islamic fundamentalism is widely spread

Religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe. This conclusion is drawn in a study published by Ruud Koopmans from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. The author analyzed data from a representative survey among immigrants and natives in six European countries. Two thirds of the Muslims interviewed say that religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. Three quarters of the respondents hold the opinion that there is only one legitimate interpretation of the Koran. more
Personen Faculty position

Ryan Finnigan: Professor at the University of California

Ryan Finnigan, researcher in the Inequality and Social Policy research unit, has accepted a faculty position at the University of California in Davis. He will be an Assistant Professor of Sociology as of fall 2014 and also be affiliated with the Center for Poverty Research. more