​ – 2022


Chair in Qualitative Empirical Research Methods



30.11.2022 12:00

ProDem in Brussels

In 2022, the annual meeting was again held to conclude the second year of the ProDem project, which examines the interaction of citizens, protest movements and movement parties in European democracies. In the European Parliament in Brussels, we had the opportunity to exchange with actors from research and politics as well as representatives of various NGOs about the insights gained in the past year and the developed report. The report presents how the EU and national governments as well as social movements can contribute to promoting participation in a Europe whose citizens are increasingly dissatisfied with a democracy in which they no longer fully believe. Women and low-income groups are particularly affected by this.

After keynote speeches by Katarina Barley, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Daniel Freund and Nicolae Ștefănuță, MEPs, a lively discussion developed about possible synergies in the exchange of research, policy and social engagement.

During the progress meeting of the ProDem project network the next morning, the plans for the last funding year were then discussed. The Frankfurt team was represented by Anna Anlauft, Daria Glukhova, Lex Metzeld and Claudius Wagemann.


Positionen zum Mindestlohn; Quelle: Bender, Benedikt (2020): Politisch-ökonomische Konfliktlinien im sich wandelnden Wohlfahrtsstaat. Positionierung deutscher Interessenverbände von 2000 bis 2014. Wiesbaden: Springer-VS, Seite 242.

The focus of the data set "Reform Monitor of Political Conflicts" (ReMoPo) created by Dr. Benedikt Bender is the question of changing political lines of conflict of organized interests. What are the positions of employers' associations, trade unions and political parties on labor market, social and family policy? How do they position themselves on protection against dismissal, fixed-term employment, unemployment benefits, minimum wages, KITA infrastructure or parental benefits? Can changes over time and/or variations within the organizations be shown, and how much do the positions on political parties differ? Do the organizations change their positions in times of crisis, such as the economic and financial crisis or the Corona pandemic?

To answer these questions empirically, press releases are analyzed and expert interviews are conducted. The ReMoPo dataset starts in 2000 and currently includes seven employers' associations, six trade unions and seven political parties. The dataset is used by Dr. Bender and his team in teaching and research, as well as by our students for term papers and theses.

In summary, from the analyses to date, support for welfare state policies varies by issue and can change as contexts change. For example, it cannot be shown that employer organizations generally oppose welfare state expansion, just as unions do not necessarily support expansion. Purely ideological factors of organizational types per se (labor/capital; left/right) are therefore not sufficient factors to explain positions. Rather, they are pragmatic explanatory factors, such as the extent to which affiliates, or their members, benefit from the reforms.

In perspective, the data set will be extended in two directions: On the one hand, the positions of the Acutere are to be analyzed in an EU country comparison, and on the other hand, a focus is also to be placed on the German federal states.


After a productive summer semester which for the first time in a long while has been completely in person, the entire Team Wagemann wholeheartedly wishes all students and other members of Goethe University a wonderful summer season and a relaxing semester break.

We will also be taking a vacation. Therefore, we ask for your understanding if we are less available than usual until the resumption of teaching in the winter semester.


Porta patet, cor magis!“ * 

This motto is still fully valid in the year 2022, possibly even more than ever. And so it was no coincidence that, towards the end of this summer semester, a whole crowd of congratulators gathered for one of the notorious Tuesday afternoons in a well-known tea kitchen. The occasion for the joyful gathering was twofold: celebrating both Claudius Wagemann's 10th anniversary of service at Goethe University and his 50th birthday. The trinity of this double birthday was finally completed by the jubilarian himself, whose spirit had never left Frankfurt, but who celebrated his return to the Main in body and soul after his research stay in beautiful Florence.

Provided with the blessing of the boss, the Wagemann team had meticulously prepared the small celebration. And the result was a complete success: Colleagues and companions from the department reached out to each other; delicious cake creations were served together with the refreshing Frankfurt-Italian drink creation "the Claudius"; and in keeping with the occasion of the double day of honor, a selection of carefully curated gifts was handed over, which Claudius Wagemann - the incarnate, not the spirit - knew how to appreciate with blessed joy and at the same time with holy seriousness. The festivities finally came to a close with a communal supper for Team Wagemann in the cozy cider garden.

While the first ten years of Claudius Wagemann's era at Goethe University are thus subject to the inclined eye of historians, the next ten have yet to be written. A meaningful and necessarily eclectic insight into the countless professional and personal successes of this history so far is provided by WagemannSpektrum, a lavishly designed and limited edition "special issue" of the well-known university magazine. In this spirit, Team Wagemann congratulates its boss and wishes: May the next ten years be at least as grandiose as the past ones!

* "The door is open, the heart even more so!"


Benedikt Bender is participating in the international conference of the Council for European Studies in Lisbon. From June 29 to July 1, he will discuss democracy, economy and society with leading international scholars. His presentation will be in the panel "Public Policy Positions of European Business Associations: Where Do Employer Preferences Come from?" where he will present his current research from the Reform Monitor on Political Conflict. More information on the Reform Monitor on Political Conflict will follow soon on our homepage.