PhD students of the Department of Social Policy and Social Security Studies

"For me, applied research is justice." (Brian Mathebula, PhD student of the Department of Social Policy and Social Security Studies)

Research is also conducted in our comparatively young Department of Social Policy and Social Security. In the following, we introduce the doctoral students and their supervisors. Further links lead to research institutes, cooperation partners, publications, etc. (selection, status September 2020)


Filiz Kalmuk
The Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA for short), the unknown foreign deployments of the German Armed Forces or the "Europe 2020" strategy for combating poverty - hardly anyone is likely to have learned very much about these issues in the media in recent years. And this despite the fact that they have a high relevance, or in other words a high news value for society. This phenomenon, which has been little researched to date, is also known in communication science as agenda cutting. But why is it that so much important news is deliberately or involuntarily neglected while other, less relevant news is dealt with in a continuous loop? In her dissertation project, PhD student Filiz Kalmuk pursues this question. Using a mixed-method approach, she will investigate the different mechanisms and reasons for agenda cutting with the aim of finding out what influences there are at the micro, meso and macro levels in the dethematization of events and news. The influence of public relations and the tools it uses for agenda cutting will also be investigated.
Betreuung: Prof. Dr. Hektor Haarkötter


Brian Mathebula
South Africa is characterised by high unemployment, poverty and inequality. The universal basic income support (UBIG) was discussed as a political option, but not systematically. Currently, different concepts of the UBIG exist, and it is not known whether different variants of the UBIG would lead to different (political) levels of support. Brian Mathebula's research focuses on the different conceptual understanding of the UBIG. He wants to know what socially accepted preconditions would be necessary to implement the unconditional basic income in South Africa. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Esther Schüring. Since 2018, PhD student  Brian Mathebula is scholarship holder of the Graduate Institute (Reiner Clement-Stipendium).
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Esther Schüring


Sandra Wrzeziono
In recent years, the collective participation of citizens has increasingly found its way into the German health care system in order to orient health policy decisions more strongly towards the needs of patients. Because of the challenges in the implementation and establishment of collective participation possibilities as well as the ongoing discussion about the democratic deficit in the German health care system, PhD student Sandra Wrzeziono examines in her research project the understanding of democracy of the involved actors by means of qualitative interviews. The project aims to shed more light on the implications for the future design of institutionalized citizen participation.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Remi Maier-Rigaud