Welcome to my website.

In August 2016, I joined the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, where I am now Associate Professor and Director of the BSocSci (Hons) Programme in Social Sciences and MSocSci Programme in Comparative Social Policy (International).

My academic interest centres on comparative and international political economy, emphasising the policies and politics of welfare state change from a historical perspective. My research to date has discussed the notions of ‘welfare productivism’ and ‘social investment’ as a conceptual backdrop for comparing social policy reforms around the globe. Most recently, I was involved in research examining the impact of family cash benefits and services on child well-being and discussing inequality in child well-being in OECD/EU countries. My current research programme adapts these different interests to the study of the Asia and Pacific region.

Specifically in Hong Kong, my research spans across various social policy issues over the life course: I have examined the social gradient in multi-dimensional child well-being, the experiences of young people with changing school-to-work transitions, the effects of available working family support on gendered labour market outcomes, the results of zero pillar pensions on poverty alleviation and coverage rates among the elderly, and the stigma attached to welfare benefit receipt among Hong Kong older adults. 

My latest peer-reviewed research is available in Child Indicators Research, the Journal of Education and Work, Social Policy & Society (1 and 2), and the Journal of Asian Public Policy. In addition, I am co-author of The Short Guide to Social Policy (2nd Edition, 2015, Bristol: Policy Press), the Unicef Innocenti Report Card 13, Fairness for Children. A League Table of Inequality in Child Well-Being in Rich Countries (2016) and the book series, Research in Comparative and Global Social Policy, launched together with the Policy Press/Bristol University Press.

I worked as an external collaborator for the Social Security Department at the International Labour Organisation (2006) in Geneva, the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris (2012-14), the Unicef Innocenti Research Centre in Florence in Italy (2015-16), and most recently the German Science Foundation’s Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy” in Bremen (2020).

I currently serve as an Executive Commitee Member of the East Asian Social Policy Research Network. I am a Centre Fellow in the Centre for Social Policy and Social Change at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, and an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, United Kingdom.

Research Interests

Comparative and global social policy analysis, social investment, productive welfare policy, child well-being, politics of welfare reform, partisan theory, historical institutionalism, comparative research methods.

Contact: stefankuehner@LN.edu.hk

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