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Pieter Vanhuysse, PhD (LSE) is Full Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the Department of Political Science and Public Management and the Danish Centre for Welfare Studies (DaWS) of the University of Southern Denmark. Pieter leads the Societies and Demographic Change research group at DaWS. Pieter is also Senior Fellow of Social Sciences at D-IAS, the Danish Institute for Advanced Study. He is a founding Board Member of CPOP-SAMF, the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at SDU's Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, and is on the Roster of Experts at Population Europe, the network of Europe's leading demographic research centres.

Pieter has published widely in political sociology and comparative political economy, focusing on welfare states, public policies, demographic change, sustainability and intergenerational justice, and quality education and human capital (SDGs 4, 10, and 16). He has been awarded a Carlsberg Foundation Monograph Fellowship for 2021-2022 to write a book on intergenerational justice in public policy.


Impacts: POLICY

Beyond academic citations and invited lectures on political sociology and public policy at over 40 institutes of higher learning, Pieter has spoken and consulted widely to ministries and policymaking communities, including the Obama White House (private consultation at the Office of Vice President Biden), three European Commission Vice-Presidents, a High-Level Policy Summit on Responses to Sustainability, the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Council, 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 Bertelsmann Foundation Sustainable Governance Indicators program, the International Social Security Association, 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 European Commission Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to construct the first Active Aging Index, which was adopted around the world.



Around 2600 citations, H-index=27, i-10 Index=43 (Google Scholar)

Pieter has (co-)authored over 50 publications in international peer-reviewed journals including PLOS ONE, Policy Sciences, J European Public Policy, J Public Policy, Political Research Quarterly, J European Social Policy, J Social Policy, Political Studies, Public Administration and West European Politics, 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 Aging Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies (2012) and Post-Communist Welfare Pathways (2009), and Global Political Demography  (2021).

Pieter's researcher profile at ERC Demography, Ethics & Public Policy


Impacts: SOCIAL

Pieter's multiple social science communication contributions to The Conversation UK (5) have attracted over 77,000 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), Dansk Politologisk Årbog (4), Der Standard, and Format.

In addition, his research was covered in 150+ press entries incl. by the Washington Post, OECD Insights, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Huffington Post, TAZ, die Welt, multiple times in die Neue Zürcher Zeitung (1, 2, and 3 by  top economist Bruno Frey), die Zeit, die Presse, Handelszeitung, Lithuanian TV, Lithuanian News Agency, Baltic News Service, Austrian TV, Danish radio, Ny Viden (2), Mandagmorgen, Magisterbladet, Nordschleswiger Tageszeitung, Information.dk, Kristeligt Dagblad, Finans.dk and Videnskab.dk (3).



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 welfare state: Comparing social policies, institutions, and policy effects in OECD 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) Political Sociology/Political Demography: Explaining complex interactions of politics and policies with larger societal trends, notably demographic change 


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, 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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