I joined the Department in 1991 as Professor of European Social Policy and Director of the European Research Centre, after previously being Professor of French Language at Aston University. From 1993-97, I served as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Human and Environmental Studies/Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. I became Emeritus Professor of European Social Policy in 2008.
My activities outside the University have involved membership of international research advisory committees, particularly in France (Agence nationale de la Recherche, British Council Franco-British Alliance Programme, Centre d’études de l’emploi, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Comité national d’évaluation de la recherche, Réseau des Maisons des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris Think Tank: Base Recherche Action INovation Santé, BRAINS). I acted as expert adviser to European and other International institutions, including the Council of Europe’s Committee on Social Policy for Families and Children, the European Commission’s High Level Group of Experts on Demographic Questions, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and the Council of Advisors of Population Europe. I have also undertaken consultancies for the British Council, ESRC, European Commission’s DG Research, European Science Foundation and European Universities Association. I was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Social Research Association in 2008. Since 2006, I have been a Visiting Fellow, Senior Visiting Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Centre for International Studies and India Observatory (Sticerd), London School of Economics and Political Science. Currently I am affiliated to the LSE International Inequalities Institute. In 2008, I became an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. I was a member of the Academy’s Council between 2015 and 2018, and I have chaired its International Advisory Group since its establishment in 2011.
My research interests focus on three interrelated themes: international comparative research theory, methodology and practice, and the management of international research projects; international comparisons of public policy and institutional structures, with particular reference to European social policy and the implications of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic for EU and UK social policy; the relationship between socio-demographic change and policy responses, and the evidence base for policy.
These research activities have attracted external funding for international projects, publications, seminars and training workshops from the European Commission Framework Programme and Economic Social Research Council, among other funding bodies.
My single-authored book-length publications in the past two decades closely reflect these research interests. Family Policy Matters: responding to family change in Europe (The Policy Press, 2004) drew on the findings from a European Commission project funded under the Fifth Framework Programme, entitled ‘Improving Policy Responses and Outcomes to Socio-Economic Challenges: changing family structures, policy and practice’ (IPROSEC). My third edition of Social Policy in the European Union (Palgrave, 2007) spanned 50 years of EU social policy, extending to 27 member states and covering a period of intense activity associated with enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe. My single-authored book, International Comparative Research: theory, methods and practice (Palgrave, 2009), built on and developed the findings from seven series of research seminars and Cross-National Research Papers delivered over more than 20 years, together with analysis of the research methods adopted in a large body of other international projects. The work was made available as an e-book together with a web companion.
As Chair of the UK Academy of Social Sciences' International Advisory Group, in 2013–14 I convened a series of seminars on ‘Social Science Evidence and the Policy Process: International Insights’. Several of the papers from the series were subsequently published in 2015 in a themed issue of Contemporary Social Science, and then in 2016 in the Routledge: Contemporary Issues in Social Science book series, for which I acted as Guest Editor with members of the IAG. In 2017 and 2018, the IAG convened another series of seminars in ‘International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Evidence-based Policy’. Papers on the topics addressed at the seminars were published as guest-edited themed issues of Contemporary Social Science, covering the sustainability of natural resources in a changing environment, family change, intergenerational relations and policy responses and evidence-based policy in a digital society.
My most recent books – What Brexit Means for EU and UK Social Policy (Policy Press, 2019) and Comparing and Contrasting the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the European Union (co-authored with Marie-Thérèse Letablier, Routledge, 2021) – build on and extend my previous work. The Brexit book considered in more detail the UK’s perspective on social policy in the EU and the role that it played in both promoting and hindering European social integration, leading ultimately to the decision to leave the EU. The Policy Press published an ‘Afterword’ in June 2020, covering the respective EU and national public health competences. The COVID-19 book challenges the use of uncontextualised comparisons of COVID-19 cases and deaths in member states during the period when Europe was the epicentre of the pandemic. The study looks behind the headlines and the statistics to demonstrate the value for knowledge exchange and policy learning of comparisons that are founded on an in-depth understanding of key socio-demographic and public health indicators within their policy settings. The book adopts integrated, multi-disciplinary international perspectives to track and assess a fast-moving topical subject in an accessible format and to offer a template for analysing policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic using evidence-based comparisons to inform and support policy development.
Between 2010 and 2012, I served as an academic consultant, based at the LSE Centre for International Studies, for an ESRC award under their Researcher Development Initiative. The project aimed to develop and deliver a programme of international social research methods training workshops across the UK and abroad. The workshops, which were delivered at venues in the UK and France, were designed to meet the needs of researchers who are engaged in, embarking on or using social research with an international dimension in all sectors (academia, local and central government, government agencies, voluntary and independent organisations) and from different scientific and linguistic cultures. One of the outputs from the project was a databank of International Social Research Methods Case Studies, hosted by ReStore, the Sustainable Web Resources Repository, under the auspices of the National Centre for Research Methods at the University of Southampton. Adapted versions of the international methods case studies have been published as SAGE Cases in Methodology. The goal of the collection, shared with the ReStore databank, is to help higher education students and researchers in other sectors to gain a better understanding of abstract methodological concepts and the realities of research in practice.
In July–August 2014, under the auspices of the International Social Science Council, I acted as local convener on behalf of the AcSS for a World Social Science Fellows Seminar, hosted by the LSE Centre for International Studies and British Council, entitled ‘Global Social Governance: Developing International Social Science Research and Impacting the Policy Process’. Contributions to the Seminar were published by the UK Academy of Social Sciences as a research resource.
Books and edited journals
- Hantrais. L. and Letablier, M-T., Comparing and Contrasting the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the European Union, Routledge: London and New York, 2021.
- Hantrais, L., Brannen. J & Bennett, F. (guest eds), Family change, intergenerational relations and policy responses, themed issue of Contemporary Social Science, Themed issue, 15(3), 2020.
- Hantrais, L., What Brexit Means for EU and UK Social Policy, Bristol: Policy Press, 2019.
- Hantrais, L., Thomas Lenihan, A. and Kattumuri, R. (eds), Sustaining Natural Resources in a Changing Environment, Oxford: Routledge, 2018.
- Hantrais, L., Thomas Lenihan, A. and Kattumuri, R. (eds), Sustaining Natural Resources in a Changing Environment, Contemporary Social Science, Themed Issue, 13 (1), 2018.
- Hantrais, L., with Lenihan, A.T. and MacGregor, S. (eds), International and Interdisciplinary Insights into Evidence and Policy, London and New York: Routledge, 2016 HB, 2019 PB.
- Hantrais, L., Thomas Lenihan, A. and MacGregor, S. (eds), International and Interdisciplinary Insights into Evidence-based Policy, Contemporary Social Science, Themed Issue, 10 (2), 2015.
- Hantrais, L., International Comparative Research: theory, methods and practice, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, 2009.
- Hantrais, L., Social Policy in the European Union, 3rd edn, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, 2007 (1st edn, 1995, 2nd edn, 2000).
- Hantrais, L., Pour une meilleure évaluation de la recherche publique en sciences humaines et sociales, vol. 2, Paris: La Documentation française, 2006.
- Hantrais, L., Family Policy Matters: responding to family change in Europe, Bristol : The Policy Press, 2004.
- Hantrais, L., ‘Reconceptualising and delivering social policy: competing challenges in (post-) Brexit and pandemic Europe’, in M. Donoghue & M. Kuisma (eds), Whither Social Rights in (Post-) Brexit Europe? Opportunities and Challenges, Social Europe, 2020.
- Hantrais, L., ‘Social policy’, in T. Oliver & G. Walshe (eds), The Impact of the UK’s Withdrawal on EU Integration, Report to the European Parliament’s Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO), Brussels: European Parliament, chapter 8, 2018. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/604973/IPOL_STU(2018)604973_EN.pdf
- Hantrais, L., ‘The European Union’, in P. Alcock, T. Haux, M. May and S. Wright (eds), The Student’s Companion to Social Policy, 5th edn, Oxford: Wiley–Blackwell, chapter 46, 2016.
- Hantrais, L., ‘International Comparative Research’, in N. Gilbert and P. Stoneman (eds), Researching Social Life, 4th edn, London: SAGE, chapter 10, 2015.
- Hantrais, L., ‘Social policy and the European Union’, in P. Alcock, M. May and S. Wright (eds), The Student’s Companion to Social Policy, Wiley, 4th edn, Oxford: Wiley–Blackwell, 2012, pp. 298–305.
- Hantrais, L., ‘Crossing cultural boundaries’, in P. Kennett (ed.), A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2nd edn, 2013, chapter 12, pp. 227–42.
- Hantrais, L., Allin, P., Kritikos,M., Sogomonjan, M., Anand, P.B., Livingstone, S., Williams, M. & Innes, M., ‘Covid-19 and the digital revolution’, Contemporary Social Science, 16(2), 2021. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2020.1833234
- Hantrais, L., Brannen, J. & Bennett, F., ‘Family change, intergenerational relations and policy implications, Contemporary Social Science, 15(3), 275-290, 2020. Doi: 10.1080/21582041.2018.1519195
- Hantrais, L., Stewart, K. and Cooper, K, ‘Making sense of the social policy impacts of Brexit’, Contemporary Social Science, 14(2), 2019, 242−255, 2019. Doi: 10.1080/21582041.2019.1572217.
- Hantrais, L., Assessing the past and future development of EU and UK social policy, Social Policy and Society, 17 (2), 2018, 265–279. Doi:10.1017/S1474746417000483.
- Hantrais, L., with Letablier, M-T., ‘Le rôle de la protection sociale dans la compensation des inégalités économiques entre femmes et hommes après divorce : une analyse comparative’, Revue de droit sanitaire et social, no. 5, 2016, 885‒903.
- Hantrais, L., with Lenihan, A.T. and MacGregor, S., ‘Evidence-based policy: exploring international and interdisciplinary insights’, Contemporary Social Science, 10 (2), 2015,101–113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2015.1061687.
- Hantrais, L., ‘Living as a family in Europe’, in Council of Europe, Population Studies: Policy implications of changing family formation, no. 49, 2006, pp. 117–81.
- Hantrais, L., ‘Combining methods: a key to understanding complexity in European societies’, European Societies, 7 (3), 2005, pp. 399–421.
Web Publications (papers, blogs, promotional material)
- Hantrais, L., Comparing European reactions to Covid-19: Why policy decisions must be informed by reliable and contextualised evidence, LSE EUROPP, 19 May 2020. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2020/05/19/comparing-european-reactions-to-covid-19-why-policy-decisions-must-be-informed-by-reliable-and-contextualised-evidence/
- Hantrais, L. Towards closer disciplinary integration of international social research beyond Brexit, Social Research Practice, vol 8 (Autumn 2019), 4–17. https://the-sra.org.uk/SRA/Publications/Social-Research-Practice/SRA/Publications/Social-Research-Practice.aspx?hkey=a409b5ec-bc84-450d-9163-b64a61c9fb3b
- Hantrais, L., Policy Press, ‘A Long View on Brexit and Social Policy’, February 2019. https://policypress.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/a-long-view-on-brexit-and-social-policy/
- Hantrais, L. (invited), Cambridge University Press, Social Policy and Society, ‘Whither EU and UK Social Policy Post-Brexit?’, April 2018. http://blog.journals.cambridge.org/2018/04/04/whither-eu-and-uk-social-policy-post-brexit/
- Hantrais, L. (invited), LSE British Politics and Policy, ‘Shaping the Post-Brexit Social Policy Legacy’, March 2018. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/how-will-brexit-affect-the-social-security-rights-of-eu-migrants-and-how-the-social-protection-of-eu-staff/
- Hantrais, L., Thomas Lenihan, A. and Kattumuri, R. (eds), Contemporary Social Science, March 2018, Themed Issue Promotion, ‘Sustaining Natural Resources in a Changing Environment’. http://www.lse.ac.uk/international-relations/assets/documents/cis/CSS-13.1-2018-Guest-Editors-Promotion.pdf
- Hantrais, L., The Social Dimension in EU and UK Policy Development: shaping the post-Brexit legacy, LSE CIS Working Paper, CIS/2017/04. http://www.lse.ac.uk/international-relations/assets/documents/cis/working-papers/cis-working-paper-2017-04-hantrais.pdf
- Hantrais, L., with Lenihan, A.T., The Implications of the EU Referendum for UK Social Science: post-referendum options for UK social scientists, LSE CIS Working Paper, CIS/2016/03. http://www.lse.ac.uk/international-relations/assets/documents/cis/working-papers/cis-working-paper-2017-04-hantrais.pdf
- Hantrais, L. The Implications of the EU Referendum for UK Social Science: post-referendum options for UK social scientists, UK Academy of Social Sciences Professional Briefings, no. 8, 2016. https://www.acss.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Professional-Briefings-8-Implications-of-EU-Referendum-for-UK-Social-Science.pdf
- Hantrais, L. (ed.), Social Science Evidence and the Policy Process: international insights, Academy of Social Sciences Professional Briefings, no. 4, 2014. http://acss.org.uk/professional-briefings-4-international-policy/
- Hantrais, L. (ed.), Global Social Governance: developing international social science research and impacting the policy process, Report on an ISSC World Social Science Fellows Seminar, Academy of Social Sciences Resource, 2014. https://www.acss.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ISSC-Fellows-Seminar-2014-Report.pdf
- Hantrais, L., International Comparative Research: theory, methods and practice, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, Web Companion, 2012 https://he.palgrave.com/companion/Hantrais-International-Comparative-Research/; e-book 2013.
- Hantrais, L., with Brannen, J. (eds), International Social Research Methods, ReStore: a sustainable on-line databank, 2012. http://www.restore.ac.uk/ISResMeth/
- Hantrais, L., ‘Improving Policy Responses and Outcomes to Socio-Economic Challenges: changing family structures, policy and practice (Iprosec)’, International Social Research Methods, ReStore: a sustainable on-line databank, 2012, http://www.restore.ac.uk/ISResMeth/CaseStudy1.pdf