Prof.Dr.Markus Promberger

Resilience of low income households in Germany and elsewhere: Findings and policy implications


Prof. Dr. Markus Promberger,


Without active support of welfare state institutions, municipalities and civil society institutions, socioeconomic resilience of poor households will remain a rare case – as it is in many countries in Europe and elsewhere. The presentation will show, under which conditions poor households can be supported to improve their socioeconomic resilience, meaning to get by better and alleviate hardship in socioeconomic terms instead of just mental coping.


Based on the findings of the 3 year 9 countries qualitative study RESCuE, in particular on the German case study, it is to be shown that a wide scope of interrelated, mutually substitutable and polyvalent practices based on previously hidden resources allows the very few resilient households to gain their livelihood from mixed sources, among which direct transfer incomes play only a minor role. Looking at the economic, cultural and social resources mobilized through these resilient practices, there is an above average relevance of common goods, small assets and land access, as well as of certain cultural patterns of knowledge, skills and values. Last but not least, personal networks of different kind play a crucial role for doing better than other low income households. Following this, the policy part of the presentation will develop ideas how to support and enhance resilience among poor households, among which the existence and availability of welfare state provisions as a fall back option, but also access to certain rather different common goods shows major importance in supporting resilience of low income households.


Prof. Dr. Markus Promberger, born 1963, MA in sociology, political science and history 1990. Working as a researcher and lecturer from 1990 to 2001, he completed his Dr. phil. at Erlangen University/Germany in 1999. Promberger joined the Institute of Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany as a senior researcher in the department "Establishments and Employment", and, from 2005 on, as the director of the newly set up research department "Joblessness and Social Inclusion". Having received habilitation and venia legendi for general sociology at the University of Erlangen, he deputised for a chair of sociology at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich during summer 2011. Alongside his ongoing IAB activities in research and management, in 2017 he was appointed Professor of Sociology at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, where he teaches labour and economic sociology, social theory and methodology.

Markus Promberger is a member of the German Sociological Association, the German Industrial Relations Association, and the German Association of Socioeconomic Labour Market Research (SAMF), where he was a member of the Board from 2009 to 2010. Markus Promberger is currently a Research Fellow of the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), co-editor of the journal "Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation", and advisor to the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the country governments of Lower Saxonia and Bavaria, the German Trade Union Federation and the Federal Labour Agency. Promberger’s current research topics are poverty, social policy, low skill labour migration, and administrative decision making in public services organisations. From 2014 to 2017 he has been coordinating the EU funded RESCuE Project, which studies the resilience of vulnerable households in socio-economic crises. About thirty scientists from nine European countries were involved in this interdisciplinary task.


Friedrich Alexander Nürnberg Erlangen Üniversitesi


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