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Local welfare production and governance

Explore how local policymaking works and how it addresses challenges of our time

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CIVIS focus area
Cities, territories and mobilities
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Business and Management
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 4
Course dates
March - July 2022

Are you curious about how your local environment is governed? What are the solutions for the pressing problems of our time, like social security, migration, climate change are developed and implemented on a local level? And who is involved in developing comfortable urban environments? This CIVIS course will address these and other questions from an interdisciplinary perspective.

This course aims to reflect and analyse the role of local governments and administrations, nongovernmental, economic, and societal actors in the production of local welfare from a comparative perspective. The focus is on understanding how welfare production takes place under conditions of interdependence actors and the interplay of rules and regulations, duties and liberties, and the embeddedness of local politics in cultural, social, and economic environments.

Main topics addressed

  • Governance and public policy
  • Local self-government
  • Welfare and well-being
  • Stakeholders, interest groups and participation
  • Social innovation
  • Economic governance
  • Evaluating local politics

Learning outcomes

  • Students can identify and hierarchize local governance structures
  • Students develop a relevant (societal and scientific) research plan
  • Students conduct small research projects based on their research plan
  • Students can select relevant research data and methods for their projects
  • Students can compare and evaluate (personal and colleagues) findings and identify best practice projects

Additional information

Local politics makes the political system viable. It brings politics to the people. And it is especially at the local level where welfare is provided and indeed produced. Starting from concepts of welfare, political systems and local governance, the aim of the seminar is to look at the (legal and structural) frameworks, actors, and constraints of local welfare production from a systematic and comparative perspective.

A special focus will be on:
Local welfare production and governance arrangements include public and private actors, such as administrations, companies, and NGOs. Local administrations usually have two roles in welfare production. 4 pilot cities:  Bucharest, Madrid, Petrozavodsk, and Tübingen serve as cases. All cities are university cities and share the principles of local self-government. But they diverge in size, location and the systems of political power and culture they are embedded in. So, there are manifold possibilities for comparing how challenges for local governance are addressed in different contexts.

Dates: March - July 2022 CIVIS scholarships: 18
Format: Blended ECTS: 4 + 2 + 2*
Location: Tübingen, Germany Contact hours: ~50
Language: English (B2) Individual workload: ~100-150

* 4 ECTS for participation in the course, 2 ECTS for participation in the summer school and 2 ECTS (graded if necessary) for the research paper. The recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

The course will be running from March to July 2022. The total duration of the course is 1.5 week (1-day online sessions in March, April and May, and a summer school of 1 week in July).


The course is a research seminar where students contribute to the general aim by doing small research projects, e.g., case studies, content analysis or discourse analysis of local politics and policymaking, and expert interviews with local elites.
The course is designed as a student online research course with joint sessions of the partner universities involved and individual research phases for students. In class, students get to know and discuss basic approaches to local politics and governance, develop and conduct small research projects on local welfare production. The course also includes talks with practitioners from local government and administration, civil society and scientific communities. As a result, students present and compare their work in a joint summer school hosted by the University of Tübingen from 11-15 July in Tübingen.

The schedule is organised as follows: 

  • 25 March 2022, 10.00-16.00 CET, online
  • 29 April 2022, 10.00-16.00 CET, online
  • 27 May 2022, 10.00-16.00 CET, online
  • 11-15 July 2022 - summer school in Tübingen, Germany


This blended mobility course is open to Bachelor's and Master students at the CIVIS member universities.

Applicants should have a basic knowledge of social science research methods. A good level of English is also required. 

Application process

The application deadline is 4 March 2022.

Applicants should send an e-mail to with a short application letter (maximum 1 page) including their contact data, affiliation, study program, level of studies and English language proficiency level. The letter should also include their motivation and a research idea for participating in the course.

Selected students will be notified on 7 March 2022.


Students will be assessed based on the following: 

  • Participation and preparation of webinar sessions
  • Developing, writing and presenting a research paper on local politics

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Rolf Frankenberger is a Senior Lecturer in comparative politics and methods at the Institute of Political Science, University of Tübingen. He does research in local governance, participation and political culture, using qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Maria del Mar Alonso Almeida is a Professor of Economics and Business Administration at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, specializing in Business Organization. Main lines of research: Circular economy, strategy and operations, gender and business management.
  • Fernando Borrajo Millán is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Economics and Business Administration at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. His focus is on Business Organization, International Business Management and Strategic Management
  • Mihai Razvan Nita is an Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest and a Researcher at the Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies. His focus is on green infrastructures, nature-based solutions and ecosystem services as well as their integration in urban and territorial planning.