Franz-Xaver Kaufmann is one of the leading German sociologists and the founder of the sociology of social policy in Germany. From 1979 to 1983 he was Director of the ZiF. On the occasion of the publication of three of Kaufmann’s major books on social policy and the welfare state in English in early 2012 and his 80th birthday in August 2012, the author’s colloquium shall provide an arena for discussing the work of Kaufmann with national and international scholars and the author. All invited speakers are young professors who are shaping scholarly research on social policy for the next generation. The disciplines of the speakers and discussants include sociology, political science, law and history.
The colloquium will focus on one of Kaufmann’s distinctive contributions to the study of social policy, namely his conception of the welfare state as a specific cultural idea which emerged in Western and Northern Europe in a specific historical situation and cultural context, closely related to rise of the idea of the ‘social’. The contributions to the colloquium seek to identify the nature, the origins and the future of the ‘social’ and of the idea of the welfare state, investigating regional and global varieties of the social as well as institutional and cultural contexts of the social.
A book or a special issue of an international Anglo-Saxon journal is to ensue from the colloquium.