Meet the Cluster Community: Fabian Bergmann

1. Why are you interested in studying Inequality?

In probably every society there are different groups with different needs. How governments deal with this - for example, through specific policies towards certain groups, or ignoring societal heterogeneity - always affects the relations within and between these groups. Through my research, I want to better understand which policies have which effects on inequality within a society. Which government approaches help to reduce inequality between groups, and which are less suitable for this purpose?

2. What are you working on? 

In the context of my PhD, I am looking at how state intervention affects the situation of Indigenous peoples. Specifically, I am examining the case of the Sámi in Norway and Sweden. These two countries are commonly known for their comparatively egalitarian societies. However, this has not always been the case and there have been times when the Sámi have been subjected to harsh, discriminatory policies that have had very negative consequences. Today, the official goal of Sámi policies in both countries is to protect and promote Sámi culture, languages and identity. However, the concrete approach to this differs greatly in Norway and Sweden. In my thesis I try to find out how the different policies affect the situation of the Sámi in the Norwegian and Swedish society. I am particularly interested in how the Sámi themselves assess their social position and whether these assessments differ between Norway and Sweden.

3. How did you end up here?

I am a Konstanz native and studied political and administrative science here in both my bachelor's and master's degrees. During my studies I also worked for a long time as a student assistant in a project on traditional governance. This had a strong impact both on my interest in political science research in general and on the relations between nation states and Indigenous peoples in particular. Therefore, I did not hesitate for long when the opportunity arose to become a part of the Ethnic Policies Cluster Project team.

4. Recent highlight? 

Over the last few months I have managed to spend a good part of my free time hiking in the mountains. After not being able to do that for some time before due to border closures and travel restrictions, it is now a little highlight for me every time.
5th dream research project?

5. Dream research project?

I try hard not to think about my research at least while dreaming!

Fabian Bergmann is a PhD candidate at the Chair of International Politics. His dissertation project is based on his research conducted as part of the project '"Ethnic Policies" - Remedy for Between- Group Inequalities?' at the Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality". His research interests include Indigenous politics and policies, policy feedback, inequality & status perceptions and survey research.