On August 30, 2013, AICGS hosted a roundtable discussion with Dr. Joyce Marie Mushaben, Curator’s Professor of Comparative Politics & Gender Studies at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. The discussion focused on the issue of immigration and integration in Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel. Dr. Mushaben offered her insight on the interaction between German domestic politics, European Union politics, and various social-economic issues in determining the transition in Germany’s integration policy under Chancellor Merkel’s leadership.

Viewed narrowly, the passage of Betreuungsgeld demonstrated the power of a small but determined party in a coalition government; it is a bit harder to determine its meaning for German family policy more generally. Considering Germany’s belated commitment to making adequate numbers of child care places available, does Betreuungsgeld simply represent the dying gasp of a deeply conservative strand of German family policy, one that has sought to maintain a housewife role for women since the early days of the Federal Republic?

On June 6, 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a proposal that would issue financial support (a so-called Betreuungsgeld, or child care subsidy) to families who care for their toddlers at home in lieu of enrolling them in state daycare facilities. If passed, it will appropriate 300 million Euros (500 million dollars)  of next year’s …Read More


Lisa Heineman is Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa and Associate Director of the UI Center for Human Rights. She has been at the University of Iowa since 1999 and teaches courses in Germany, Europe, women, and gender. Her past research has examined gender, war, …Read More


Waltraud Schelkle is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the European Institute and has been at the London School of Economics (LSE )since autumn 2001, teaching courses on the political economy of European integration at MSc and PhD level. She is an Adjunct Professor of economics at the Economics Department of the Free University …Read More

At 3.1 percent of GDP, Germany spends far above the OECD average on family benefits, whereas the United States spends only 1.3 percent of its GDP on family benefits. However, differences in spending are not the only contrasts regarding family policy in Germany and the U.S., writes former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Isabelle Kürschner. They also differ significantly with respect to parental leave systems, maternal employment rates, and the number of children born in each country. Dr. Kürschner examines the distinctiveness of German family policy in this Transatlantic Perspectives essay.

In Policy Report 42, Annette Zimmer and Steven Rathgeb Smith look at social service and health care provision in the United States and Germany, examining the historical development of the different styles of welfare state, the role of public and private expenditures and providers, and current trends in the two countries. The authors offer answers to questions such as how is social service and health care provision affected by the new approach of designing social policy? They also address whether path-dependency in the two countries is still in place; or if German and American nonprofit social and health care providers, confronted with similar problems, tend to adopt similar strategies in order to keep or even enlarge their share of a growing market of social service provision.

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