A Tale of Two Futures

The Future of Work Debate in Germany and the United States

From Berlin to Washington, public debates about the future of work is omnipresent. Policymakers, business leaders, unions, and academics discuss the impact of automation on jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself. On both sides of the Atlantic, the future of work debate has resulted in an arena where optimists see a window of opportunity for re-skilling and designing innovative policies to share the benefits of automation with society, while pessimists predict the end of work as we know it, including the decline in security in relation to work and workers’ voices.

AICGS/DAAD Research Fellow Dr. Ines Wagner will discuss how the debates in the United States and Germany on the future of work share similarities as well as important differences. She argues that there is a focus on dialogue between different parties in Germany, but that the discussion in the United States is more isolated between the different stakeholders, which has consequences for current and future policies in relation to changes in work. The variations in the discussions about the future of work can give us insights into not only future projections, but current ongoing changes and their effects on policy.

Join Dr. Ines Wagner as she presents her research on how comparative debates about the “future of work” are currently shaping labor policy decisions.


Ines Wagner is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow from May to June 2019. She is a Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Social Research in Oslo. She holds a double PhD degree in Political Science and International Management from the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Groningen and an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr. Wagner was a visiting fellow at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, the European University Institute in Florence and the Institute of Economic and Social Research in Düsseldorf and is an alumna of the Global Young Faculty.

June 21, 2019, 12:00 - 1:30 pm