Welcome to my website.

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the BSocSci (Hons) Programme in Social Sciences and the MSocSci Programme in Comparative Social Policy (International) at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

I serve as one of the new editors of the Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, which is now affiliated with the UK Social Policy Association. You can read about our ‘future vision’ for the journal here.

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 have been 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.

In Hong Kong, my research spans 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 the Children and Youth Services Review, Melbourne Asia Review, Journal of Social Policy (I and II), Policy and Society, Child Indicators Research, Social Policy & Society (1 and 2), the Journal of Education and Work, Asian Social Work & Policy Review, 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 co-editor of 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 Committee Member of the East Asian Social Policy Research Network. I am an Affiliate Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

Research Interests

Comparative and global social policy analysis, comparative research methods, social investment, new social risks, old-age poverty, child well-being, youth transitions, work-family reconciliation policy, welfare stigma, social politics, and historical institutionalism.

Contact: stefankuehner@LN.edu.hk

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