In terms of
its research focuses on social benefits law as a whole and is deliberately not restricted to individual areas as this would
involve a double risk: namely to lose sight (1) of the concepts of social intervention and hence of the social or, respectively,
welfare state principle, which form the basis for any delivery of social benefits and services and (2) of the ever more evident
interconnections between the various social benefits systems.
Methodologically, the focus is on the comparison both of various legal systems and of the different levels in the hierarchy of norms of individual legal systems.
Social law is shaped by its function. Due to its dependence on and reference to economic and social conditions, social law is subject to constant change. Insights into its particularities as well as the principal lines of development can therefore be gathered especially from the observation of inherent processes of change. For the purpose of analysis, a distinction can be made between three kinds of processes, even if these processes overlap and are interrelated:
Both lead to new regulation levels and thus to new regulatory approaches as well as new interdependencies between the individual
This is an expression of altered socio-political goals but also of underlying general social developments; related to it
is the use of new regulatory approaches and techniques that may radiate on the development of the legal system.
It sheds light on the possibilities of creating universal social standards and, compared to the development of the social
law of European states, it especially provides insights into the factors relevant to the development and hence also into
the possible stages of development and their genetic, social and cultural conditionality.