Erwin Carigiet

Dr. iur. (Doctor of Law)

Expert for social security, public health and social policy 

Welcome on my website where you can find information about my scientific and publishing work. The main topics are the architecture of the social security, aspects of social justice, the further development of the social and health system and the leadership of professional organizations (i.e. organizations of experts).


In addition, I have provided information about myself and some further interests.


The photos have been taken in New Zealand, Australia and France.


This and that


... in early 2007 I was interviewed about pandemics and pandemic contingency planning. Today I'd ex-press myself almost identically. 

My contribution "Health and social policy  in times of Covid-19" has been published in autumn 2020 (in German),

in: ZögU Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemein-wirtschaftliche Unternehmen, Heft 3, Baden-Baden, p. 267 - 281

A pandemic is more than just a medical problem: After the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic – for the first time in history – people watch in real time, during a staccato of reporting, how a virus pandemic develops. They hope to fight the virus just as quickly and at the same time they fear for their own existence, healthwise and economically. Politics, business and science are trying to provide answers, even if they cannot fully assess the health or economic effects of the pandemic and the measures taken to combat it. Communication plays a crucial role: A clear distinction must be made between knowledge, semi-knowledge and ignorance. In addition, social security and services of general interest are of great importance when dealing with a pandemic. They alleviate existential fears, secure livelihoods and help to prevent social inequalities from being amplified by the pandemic.

Rotary at its best

In the Governor Newsletter of the Rotary District 2000 of December 2020 I have summarized the great result of our social activities for the benefit of the people on the streets of Zurich who are in need due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contribution as pdf

Social policy


Distribution of wealth and participation as crucial issues


Economic growth and the welfare state contributed to the expansion of prosperity and the solution of essential issues of (material) existence in Switzerland in the decades following the Second World War. Never before in history all layers of society have benefited from such a high standard of living.

The uncritical adoption of economic arguments, which - under the guise of a precise science - has become an essential element of current day politics. By doing this the politicians ignore the essential fact that the question of costs of social security has its important counterpart in the question of the costs of social insecurity. A society is rightly judged by how it deals with its weakest members.

The old principle of trust of the welfare state, according to which everyone lives ever better and better, has not applied since the early 1990s. Since then, the welfare state has not been able to prevent 

  • that the gap between rich and poor is growing "unstoppably"

  • that a growing part of the population is constantly at risk of poverty (precarity issues) and

  • that the (former) middle class is increasingly deprived of the predictability and security of their standard of living. This happens in contrast to a (new) middle class that profits from globalization and "moves away" from the rest of the (locally rooted) population (cf. Andeas Reckwitz, Die Gesellschaft der Singularitäten, Berlin 2017).


​The socio-economic and social realities have changed a lot and this process continues despite the current positive economic developement. As a result, it gradually causes a division of society. Wealth and poverty are passed on: There can be talk of a "feudalization of society" (Hans Kissling, Reichtum ohne Leistung, Die Feudalisierung der Schweiz, Zürich 2008). The perception and coping with these changes are delayed.


Leadership of professional organizations (i.e. organizations of experts)


"Leadership means making strong decisions under difficult conditions and giving support to others – without claiming to always be able to do it." Matthias Varga von Kibèd has succinctly described leadership in the style of an aphorism.

(quoted from Elisabeth Ferrari and Johanna Rühl, Führung in einem Satz (Leadership in one sentence) (e-book), 3rd edition Aachen, introduction)

For me, this sentence outlines something like the foundation of all leadership. Not the "how" of leadership, for which there is a great deal of inspiring but also less helpful stuff to discover in the maze of management literature.

It distinguishes good leaders that they look at their leadership realities in a sophisticated way and do not try to shape them with a schema or by using just one perspective. Today's leadership has become accustomed to understanding management issues (either alone or above all) as the economic governance of an organization. This can lead to unwanted effects, especially in expert organizations such as universities, schools and hospitals.


Based on my many years of leadership experience, I have presented my point of view in 2018 in a lecture at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, zhaw, and in 2014 in an interview with Elisabeth Ferrari, Aachen entitled "Understanding Perspectives and Building Bridges" (presentation und handout of my lecture and interview in German - see black links below).


I am looking forward to every exchange with my readers and students.

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself." 
Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)

Publications - a selection (in German)

(list of publications at the end of this section)

Gesellschaftliche Solidarität (i.e. Solidarity in Society)
Prinzipien, Perspektiven und Weiterentwicklung der sozialen Sicherheit

Helbing und Lichtenhahn, Basel/Genf/München 2001 

Fundamental work on social security

„Es handelt sich um ein rechtspolitisch ausgerichtetes, dogmatisch allerdings klar abgestütztes Werk, welches die grundlegenden Probleme des heutigen Sozialstaates aufgreift. Carigiet hält uns – ohne je doktrinär oder fundamentalistisch zu werden - schonungslos Mechanismen sozialer Ungerechtigkeit vor Augen, an die wir uns so bequem gewöhnt haben. Seine Standpunkte sind stets wohl begründet und widerspiegeln seine gefestigte Haltung in Bezug auf die behandelten Fragen.“

(Alain Griffel, Schweizerisches Zentralblatt für Staats- und Verwaltungsrecht, 103. Jahrgang Nr. 7 vom Juli 2002, S 388 - 390).

Hat das Drei-Säulen-Konzept eine Zukunft? - Le concept des trois piliers a-t-il un avenir?
zusammen mit Jean-Pierre Fragnière als Herausgeber und Autor
Réalités sociales, Lausanne 2001 

Wohlstand durch Gerechtigkeit

Deutschland und die Schweiz im sozialpolitischen Vergleich
zusammen mit Ueli Mäder, Michael Opielka und Frank Schulz-Nieswandt als Herausgeber und Autor
Rotpunktverlag, Zürich 2006

Ergänzungsleistungen zur AHV/IV

Darstellung, Charakterisierung und Wirkungsweise

zusammen mit Uwe Koch

Schulthess, 2., umfassend überarbeitete Auflage, Zürich 2009 

3rd revised and expanded edition in preparation, will be published in 2021

(1st edition was published in 1995; a supplement in 2000, for the first time with Uwe Koch as co-author)

Reference book on need-based minimum benefits (in addition to Old-age, survivors and disability insurance, AHV/IV)



Aufsätze / Abhandlungen


Existenzsicherung mit Ergänzungsleistungen - Modell und Vorbild
in: Jetzt reicht es - Leben mit Zusatzleistungen zur AHV/IV in der Stadt Zürich. Seit 1930,
Sozialdepartement der Stadt Zürich, Zürich 2005, S. 198 - 211

Deutsche Arbeitnehmer - Schweizer Bürger? 
zusammen mit Michael Opielka
in: Wohlstand durch Gerechtigkeit, Deutschland und die Schweiz im sozialpolitischen Vergleich,
hrsg. von Erwin Carigiet, Ueli Mäder, Michael Opielka, Frank Schulz-Nieswandt, Rotpunktverlag, Zürich 2006, S. 15 - 46

Die Schweiz: sozial und gerecht? Die neue soziale Frage
in: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Sozialversicherung und berufliche Vorsorge, Band 50, Heft 5,
Stämpfli Verlag AG, Bern, 2006, S. 385 - 407


Weder fair noch rational - Rationierung im Gesundheitswesen aus sozialpolitischer Sicht
zusammen mit Daniel Grob
in: Rationierung und Gerechtigkeit im Gesundheitswesen, Beiträge zur Debatte in der Schweiz, hrsg. von Markus Zimmermann-Acklin, Hans Halter, EMH Editores Medicorum Helveticorum, 
Basel 2007, S. 293 - 302


Soziale Gerechtigkeit im Schweizer Sozialstaat: Sicherheit und Ausgleich in der Altersvorsorge
in: Soziale Gerechtigkeiten, hrsg. von Monica Budowski und Michael Nollert, Seismo Verlag, Zürich 2008, S. 139 - 162


Oszillierende Organisationen - kommunikative und kulturelle Herausforderungen für das Gesundheitswesen
zusammen mit Claudia Eisenring
in: ZögU Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmen, 32. Jahrgang, Heft 1, Köln 2009, S. 90 - 101

Zur Rolle der städtischen Spitäler - Netzwerke als Investition in die Zukunft
zusammen mit Norman Franz
in: Zögu Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmen, 36. Jahrgang, Heft 4, Köln 2013, S. 241 - 254


Perspektiven verstehen und Brücken bauen
Interview zu systemischer Führung
in: SyStemischer, Zeitschrift für Systemische Strukturaufstellungen, Nr. 5, Aachen 2014, S. 88 - 97 

Gesundheits- und Sozialpolitik in Zeiten von Covid-19

in: ZögU Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmen, 43. Jahrgang, Heft 3, Baden-Baden 2020, S. 267 - 281


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