Special orders of Catholic welfare in Germany in the 19th and 20th century
As a part of the research project “Special Orders. Normative Diversity under Conditions of Functional Differentiation in the 19th and 20th Centuries”, the project attempts to focus on Catholics as a social group and to understand how this group developed specific normative orders and how these orders related to state law.
The main focus is put on social policy and poor relief, a field traditionally strongly denominated by confessional groups. However, this was increasingly defined as a sovereign task field, especially in the second half of the 19th century. As a result, the scope for action of the groups hitherto having been active in this area was apparently restricted. But if state action in the field of general welfare and poor relief was implemented in the sense that the state itself retained its responsibility for guarantee, but delegated the responsibility for fulfillment to non-state actors at the same time, it did not come to a state monopolization of poor relief, but instead rather to a coexistence of private and public welfare.
Therefore, some of the leading questions of the work are: How was the relation between public and private-catholic welfare? How was this relation organized? Did, and if yes how, influenced the organized catholic representation of interests the legislation and welfare policy and thus the structure of the legal framework?
In addition, the view should also be directed to the development of normativity within the Catholic groups, for example to the tendency of the increasing professionalization and centralization.
Finally, the phenomenon of developing "non-governmental social policy" - thus the areas in which the framework already provided by state regulation was used to operate in areas beyond the state-regulated social and poverty policy - should also be included in the study.