Celebrating his appointment to full professor for Policy-Analysis and Political Economy at the University of Kaiserslautern, Georg Wenzelburger held his inaugural lecture on Friday the 9th of February. Starting on a personal note, Georg Wenzelburger first welcomed his family and friends as well as many old and new colleagues by looking back at his academic career and the crossroads he faced on his way to become a professor. Prof. Dr. Shanley E.M. Allen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, expressed her gratitude that this path has led to him to Kaiserslautern.
The inaugural lecture by Prof. Wenzelburger then dealt with two of his past and current academic interests integrated into a new and fascinating research endeavor. Titled “The left and the right hand? On the relationship between welfare and security in times of globalization“, the lecture explored common drivers of, or a causal relationship between, the dual processes of welfare state retrenchment and penal state expansion. Drawing on the rich data and analytical results of the research project “The Politics of Law and Order”, Georg Wenzelburger mapped the development of law and order policies and related them to the dynamics of partisan competition. In this perspective, partisan competition structured by the nature of a state’s party system leads to distinct policy outputs. Returning, to the relationship between increasing security measures and decreasing social welfare, Prof. Wenzelburger strongly hinted at the prominence of a micro-level explanation: Insecurities and fears of crime at the individual level could be anticipated by political parties which in return offer policy solutions.
After the lecture, Prof. Wenzelburger invited his guests to a small reception prepared by his team. Many used the opportunity to congratulate him, to discuss about the lecture, and to enjoy a very nice evening with friends and colleagues.