New Publication: How much Money is Appropriate? A Vignette Study on the Acceptance of Sanctions in SGB II

Since the reforms of the Social Code Book II in 2004/05, sanctions in the minimum income system have been considered a central pillar of the activating welfare state. However, in terms of social policy, it is often debated whether sanctions are generally permissible, since those affected then live (temporarily) below the socio-cultural subsistence level. In addition, the Federal Constitutional Court classified cuts above 30 % of the minimum income benefits as unconstitutional in 2019 and called for a reform process. A broad public acceptance of the changed sanction practice may be achieved if empirical evidence on the perception of such sanctions accompanies the reform process. This article investigates – based on a Vignette analysis – which sanctions are considered acceptable by the population, when hypothetical welfare recipients violate their obligation to cooperate. A majority of the representative German sample (N = 2621) favours sanctions up to 30 % of the minimum income benefit. Sole factors such as low levels of motivation to look for work, missed appointments with the specialist advisors or having a foreign-sounding name significantly increase the acceptance of sanctions amongst the wider public. Especially a combination of these factors increases the acceptance of placing sanctions on welfare recipients. In contrast, the age of the hypothetical benefit recipients plays a marginal role.

Philipp Linden (2021): How much Money is Appropriate? A Vignette Study on the Acceptance of Sanctions in SGB II. In: WSI 74 (6), S. 454–462.

New Publication: The Role of Health and Illness in the German Poverty Discourse – A Content Analysis of the Poverty and Wealth Reports

In their article within the latest issue of the Journal of Social Policy Research, Mareike Ariaans and Nadine Reibling investigate the role of health within the political poverty discourse in Germany. For this purpose, the authors review the poverty and wealth reports of the German government published since 2001 by emplyoing medicalization theory. Using qualitative and quantitative content analysis, they examine how health and illness are portrayed in the reports. In the evaluation it is evident that poverty is mainly described as a cause of illness. The formulated and proposed interventions nevertheless focus primarily on improving the health care system rather than on anti-poverty programs. Prevention and especially setting-based prevention have become more important measures in the last two reports. At the same time, these reports show a shift away from individual responsibility toward a stronger discussion of structural causes.

Ariaans, Mareike; Reibling, Nadine (2021): Die Rolle von Gesundheit und Krankheit im deutschen Armutsdiskurs. In: Zeitschrift für Sozialreform 67 (2), S. 123–152.

Sick unemployed – Same benefits but fewer sanctions – Results from the research group in the FIS briefing

This year’s FIS Forum had to be cancelled due to the effects of the corona pandemic. Nevertheless, current research results from the project could be published in this year’s FIS-Briefing 2020 of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS). The MEPYSO publication can be found here, all other contributions here.