How `social´ is

Project Team

Principal Investigator: Prof. Lutz Leisering PHD

Lutz Leisering has been a full professor of social policy at Bielefeld University since 1999. He has published widely on the theory and history of the welfare state and on comparative social policy, both European and global, with a focus on income security (old-age pensions, social assistance) and qualitative and quantitative policy analysis, including ideas and discourses. Leisering and his team of junior researchers have done empirical studies of various non-Western countries, including China, Taiwan, Korea, Brazil, India and South Africa, also Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia. Through his DFG-funded FLOOR project, he has created the leading international database on social assistance in all countries of the Global South.
Leisering is currently working on a book on social cash transfers in the Global South.

Project Partner in Turkey: Asst. Prof. Dr. H. Tolga Bölükbasi

H. Tolga Bölükbasi has been an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University since 2009. His research interests include Europeanization of socio-economic governance in Southern Europe and mapping Turkey within the varieties of welfare states. Bölükbasi has published on Europeanization, welfare state reform and the conceptualization of social rights. He has headed several research projects, including most recently `Mapping the Turkish Welfare State´, funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). This project generated quantitative data on the Turkish case in order to put Turkey´s social security system into comparative perspective.
Bölükbasi is currently working on a book on the comparative political economy of welfare state reform during the Maastricht Decade.

Postdoctoral researcher: Kerem Gabriel Öktem

Kerem Gabriel Öktem is a post-doctoral researcher at Bielefeld University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in 2016. His dissertation explored the emergence of welfare states in the developing world and included a novel measurement of welfare stateness on the global level. Öktem has worked in different research project, including `Mapping the Turkish Welfare State´. He has published articles on subnational development in India, voting behavior in Turkey, as well as the conceptualization and measurement of social rights and social stratification.

Research Assistant: Cansu Erdogan

Cansu Erdogan has been a Sociology Master´s student at Bielefeld University since 2015/2016. In 2015, she completed her Bachelor degree in Sociology at Koc University, Istanbul. Erdogan also worked at Koc University as a student assistant for two semesters in the research project 'Multi-dimensional Youth Typologies', funded by TUBITAK.
Currently she is working on social stratification; migration and social policies for her master´s thesis.

Research Assistant: Murat Özgen

Murat Özgen is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of Bilkent University. After receiving his Bachelor degree from the same department in 2011, Özgen completed his Master`s education in 2014 at the European Affairs program of Lund University in Sweden. His master thesis scrutinized Turkey`s efforts for foreign policy activism in multilateral cooperation organizations within the axis of European Union and Russia. He has worked as a research assistant in different TUBITAK-funded projects. His doctoral research focuses on social assistance policies in developing countries.


13.11.2019: Blickwechsel conference "Rights and Equality in Contemporary Turkey" in Berlin