Reinhold Sackmann, Dr. rer.pol. habil., is Full Professor for Sociology, Dynamic Analysis of Social Structure, at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. His fields of research are life course analysis, sociology of education and coping with demographic change.
He talks about how after accelerated population growth in the last two centuries, in a number of European and East Asian countries there are signs of a stagnant, sometimes shrinking population that is getting older and more heterogeneous. What are the effects of this new situation? Is there scope to modify effects of these new trends? Dr. Sackmann conducted a longitudinal data analysis of German school systems from 1995-2010, which shows that demographic change has had a profound effect on the institutional system of the education system, which for a long time was seen as a path dependent system that could not be transformed by political reforms.