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Pieter Vanhuysse MAE, PhD (LSE), is Full Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy at SDU's Department of Political Science and Public Management and the Danish Centre for Welfare Studies. Pieter is also Senior Fellow at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, an interdisciplinary centre for excellent research. He is a founding board member at CPoP-SAMF, the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at SDU's Faculty of Business and Social Sciences.

In 2023, Pieter was elected as Member of Academia Europaea, The Academy of Europe. He is also a member of the Roster of Experts at Population Europe, the network of Europe's leading demographic research centres, and of the international board of the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at Erfurt University.

Pieter has published widely in comparative political economy and political demography, focusing on public policies, aging welfare states, aging democracies, intergenerational resource transfers, and intergenerational equity, intergenerational sustainability, and intergenerational justice (SDGs 4, 10, and 16). He has been awarded a Carlsberg Foundation Monograph Fellowship for 2021-2022 to research sustainable societies and intergenerational justice in public policy.

Impacts: POLICY

Pieter aims to bridge the worlds of ideas and of policy by translating, whenever possible, his research into policy impact. He has spoken and consulted widely to ministries and policymaking communities, including invitations by the Obama White House (private consultation at the Office of Vice President Biden) and on four occasions by European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica, as well as addresses to forums including European Commission President von der Leyen, five European Commissioners, a High-Level EU Policy Summit on Responses to Sustainability, the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Council, an EU Joint Programming Initiative, the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the Canadian Parliament, a Population Europe and Max Planck Society Brussels High-Level Expert Meeting, the Inter-American Conference on Social Security, the IBM International Social Sector Forum, UNICEF, the United Nations Office in Vienna, the Lithuanian parliament, the Slovak Social Ministry, the Austrian ministries of Finance and Social Affairs, and the Global Economic Symposium.

Pieter was part of the Vienna team contracted by the European Commission (DG Employment) and UNECE to construct the first Active Aging Index, which has been adopted wide around the world. Beyond frequent keynotes and addresses to the policy-making community, Pieter has published over 20 policy-oriented papers and policy briefs, including for the Global Economic Symposium, the Global South (2), the Bertelsmann Foundation, the European Social Observatory (3), and Population Europe (5). At SDU, he has hosted official visits of the Ambassadors to Denmark of both Poland and Belgium.


3250 citations, H-index=30, i-10 Index=50 (Google Scholar)

Pieter has (co-)authored over 50 publications in international peer-reviewed journals including Royal Society Open Science, PLoS ONE, Communications Medicine, Policy Sciences, J European Public Policy (2), J Public Policy (2), Political Research Quarterly, Political Studies (2), Public Administration, West European Politics, Politics, J European Social Policy, J Social Policy, Social Policy & Administration, European J Political Economy, Kyklos, Oxford Economic Papers, Public Choice, J Happiness Studies and over 50 chapters, policy briefs and research reports on political sociology and public policy. His book Divide and Pacify: Political Protests and Strategic Social Policies in Post-Communist Democracies (2006) was nominated for the Political Sociology Best Book Award by the American Sociological Association. He has also co-edited Post-Communist Welfare Pathways (2009), Aging Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies (2012) and Global Political Demography: The Politics of Population Change (2021, open access). Two new book manuscripts on sustainable democracies and intergenerational resource transfers are currently in production.

Pieter has held academic keynotes to the International Social Security Association (2) and the European Demography Forum. He is an Associated Researcher at the DFG Excellence Cluuter 'Politics of Inequality', University of Konzstanz, and he has held visiting fellowships at the University of Konstanz, the Collegium Budapest and Corvinus Institutes for Advanced Study, and Lisbon University's School of Economics and Management. His research was profiled at ERC Demography, Ethics & Public Policy

Impacts: SOCIAL

Pieter's multiple social science communication contributions to The Conversation UK (5) have attracted over 85,000 cumulative readers. Pieter has also written articles for and given interviews to newspapers and media outlets incl. BBC World Service, Belgian, Austrian and Lithuanian TV, The New York Times, Neue Zuercher Zeitung, The National Interest, The Independent, De Standaard (3), World Economic Forum (2), DIFIS sozialpolitikblog (3), LSE EUROPP (3), UCL Europe, Dansk Politologisk Årbog (4), ScienceNordic (3), BestPractice Nordic (2) (6), Der Standard, Knack (3), Trouw, Format and Agenda Pública El País (2).

In addition, his research was covered in 180+ press entries incl. by the Washington Post, OECD Insights, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Huffington Post, TAZ, die Welt, multiple times in die Neue Zürcher Zeitung (1 and 2 by  top economist Bruno Frey), die Zeit, die Presse, Handelszeitung, Lithuanian TV, Lithuanian News Agency, Baltic News Service, Austrian TV, Danish radio, Knack (3), Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs, Ny Viden (4), Mandagmorgen, Magisterbladet, Nordschleswiger Tageszeitung,, Kristeligt Dagblad, , Berlingske and Weekendavisen (2)





10/2003: PhD in Government, without amendments (London School of Economics, UK)

10/1997: MSc in European Politics and Policy (London School of Economics, UK)

06/1996: Master (Licence) in Economics, summa cum laude, first of the year (University of Leuven, Belgium)



Comparative Politics/Political Sociology: Explaining complex interactions of politics and policies with larger societal trends, notably demographic change 

Public policy and social policy: Comparing policies, institutions, and policy effects in OECD and analyzing their political processes

Comparative political Economy : Explaining effects of politics on socio-economic outcomes, and of social and institutional structures on policies (e.g. population change, electoral cycles) 


Research areas


Political sociology, Public policy, Political demography, Sustainable governance/policies, Comparative political economy, Comparative social policy


SDGs 4, 10, and 16, Intergenerational justice in public policy, Quality education and human capital, Macro-social sustainability and societal resilience, Generational politics, Generational relations, Generational Solidarity, Generational policies, Demographic change, Population politics

Education/Academic qualification

Government, MSc and PhD, Divide and Pacify: the Political Economy of the Welfare State in Hungary and Poland, London School of Economics

Award Date: 3. Oct 2013

Economics, BA degree 4 years, University of Leuven

Award Date: 30. Jun 1996

Research areas

  • Welfare State
  • Social Policy
  • Distributive Justice
  • Politics and Economics of Education
  • Welfare State Reforms
  • Democracy and Power
  • Youth Participation
  • Democracy Notion


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