Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
The countries bordering the Baltic Sea, which are the focus of this project, exhibit a high degree of population diversity. The economic and socio-demographic developments occurring throughout Europe pose new social risks where inequality threatens population sub-groups. Due to the heterogeneity of the Baltic Sea States, these new vulnerable populations are not straightforward to define, nor are the welfare regimes that contribute to their creation. The phenomena become more complex with the interrelationships and cumulative effects of less explored determinants, such as unintentional life course events, cognitive health or work-life experiences. For this reason, historical shifts within the welfare systems of many East European states, as well as the cross-country differences, offer a fertile environment to conduct research on the multi-dimensional causes of social vulnerability.
The Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy contributes to the research and the pool of knowledge generated by this project for the interdisciplinary study of vulnerable populations and related policy interventions. Departing from the central topic of vulnerability, its research is structured based on three main domains: Working life and retirement, migration and health. It uses three data sources: The Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the Social Policy and Law Shared Database (SPLASH) and one migration survey. These topics will be addressed from theoretical and empirical perspectives, through the improvement of existing methodologies, the use of combined sources and new data collection.
Stemming from its focus on the economics of ageing, as well as demographic change and the resulting social transformation processes, the Social Policy Department (MEA) addresses social vulnerability in new and emerging contexts covering factors and populations often unexplored, such as ageing migrants.
The expertise of the Department of Foreign and International Social Law in the investigation of social law as an instrument for the implementation of social policy measures provides key insights into the institutional settings within the Baltic Sea region necessary for the study of vulnerable groups.