Bernhard Ebbinghaus

Vienna Karl Polanyi Visiting Professor

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Bernhard Ebbinghaus is a sociologist, studying the political economy of advanced welfare states from a comparative perspective with a focus on Europe. In 2022, he returned as Professor of Sociology to his Chair of Macrosociology at University of Mannheim, after five years at Oxford. He was Professor of Social Policy and Senior Research Fellow of Green Templeton College; he also led the Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI) at Oxford University. Previously he was Director of the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and co-director of the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences at University of Mannheim. Since November 2021, Professor Ebbinghaus is member of the European Commission’s High-Level Group on the future of social protection and of the welfare state in the EU 

Since his PhD at the European University Institute (EUI) in 1993, Ebbinghaus has studied key institutions of political economy, close to the concerns of Karl Polanyi: the development of labour relations and social policies in advancing social rights in capitalist economies as a counter-movement. Studying the politics and outcomes of welfare state reforms in Europe, Prof Ebbinghaus has been involved in the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 884) Political Economy of Reform at University of Mannheim form 2010 until 2023. The project led to a co-edited volume with Elias Naumann on Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below: Comparing Public Attitudes and Organized Interests in Britain and Germany (Palgrave, 2018). In a recent edited book with J. Timo Weishaupt he investigated The Role of Social Partners in Managing Europe’s Great Recession  (Routledge 2021), asking whether this led to crisis corporatism or corporatism in crisis.