Dr. Kerem Gabriel Öktem 

Universität Bremen, GERMANY
Jul 2023 - Jun 2026
Associate Junior Fellow

Kerem Gabriel Öktem

Projekte & Publikationen

Abstract
Around the world democracy is under siege as various illiberal governments steer towards autocracy.
But what happens to the welfare state when democracy is dismantled? Is the welfare state dismantled
along with democracy? Or does it survive – maybe in a different shape? This workshop brings together
scholars working on the more general concept of the autocratic welfare state with scholars working
on social policy in specific countries under autocratization. The first part of the workshop builds on the
incipient research agenda on autocratic welfare states to discuss questions such as: What makes
autocratic regimes build and maintain welfare states? Are these welfare states qualitatively different
from those found in democratic countries? What varieties do we find among autocratic regimes – and
why? Informed by this more general debate, the second part of the workshop focusses on welfare
reforms in countries facing autocratization. Grounded in strong regional knowledge on Europe, Latin
America, Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, experts discuss whether findings from country
experiences of the welfare state under autocratization can be generalized. The workshop contributes
to the broader research agenda on the complex interplay between political regime and social policy. It
aims to provide a forum for interdisciplinary perspectives, including political science, social policy and
sociology and bring together scholars with a focus on quantitative and qualitative methods.