Karim Fertikh is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Strasbourg (Sciences Po Strasbourg) and a junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. In December 2012, he was awarded his PhD in Social Sciences (Sociology) from the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Strasbourg. He has widely published on the history of German social democracy, notably L’invention de social-démocratie allemande. Une histoire sociale du programme de Bad Godesberg (2020) and contributed to the development of the social history of ideas. He has also published on the genesis of social Europe, and the making of European social law, in particular in « From territorialized rights to personalized international social rights?: The making of the European Convention on the Social Security of Migrant Workers (1957) », in Monika Baar, Paul van Trigt (dir.), Marginalized Groups, Inequalities and the Post-War Welfare State (Routledge, 2019). More recently, he published « Les social-démocraties de l’espace germanophone au XXe siècle : nouvelles approches et expériences transnationales », Histoire Politique, 47 | 2022 (with Jean-Numa Ducange) and "A weak field of social policy? A transnational perspective on the EEC’s social policymaking (from the 1940s to the 1970s)" in Stefan Bernhard, Christian Schmidt-Wellenburg, Charting transnational fields. Methodology for a political sociology of knowledge (Routledge, 2021).
A Welfare World? Exploring the Globalization of Social Security since 1919
Social and historical sciences have widely acknowledged the necessity of a transnational perspective in the works on welfare states. The research on international organizations has also shed light on non-national dynamics in the development of national policies in this field. My project deals with the issue of internationalization of social insurance and aims at accounting for a legal revolution that has impacted national states: during the 20th century, the right to social insurance which had historically been coupled with the national social state came to be a personal and, in some ways, “de-territorialized” human right. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, social security gained international momentum. The UNO has proclaimed social security a “universal” human right, and through hundreds of treaties, foreigners have been granted the equality of treatment with national workers. In addition, shortly before decolonization, continental governments developed social security schemes in their dependent territories. Once countries were decolonized, they received international assistance to maintain and develop their social security systems. European Organizations (WEO, CoE, ECSC, EEC, etc.) developed a multilateral approach and international bureaucracies aimed at carrying out the new – and somehow universalized – understanding of social security rights. Shortly, a new legal culture, partly inherited from the interwar period, has emerged, and was embedded in institutions and international laws. The project aims at explaining this “symbolic revolution” in the legal culture and its persistence over time as most of the innovations of the 1950s and 1960s are still in place nowadays.