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About me

Minna van Gerven is Professor of Social Policy at Tampere University since 2022. Her previous positions include Professor of Social and Public Policy (2020-2021) at University of Helsinki, Assistant Professor of Sociology of Governance (2009-2020) at the University of Twente (the Netherlands), and Postdoctoral researcher (2006-2009) at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands). She obtained a PhD in Sociology at Tilburg University (the Netherlands) in 2008 and is a graduate of the University of Tampere (Social Policy in 2001).

Minna is an internationally acknowledged and networked scholar with a broad interest in social policy. Her work and career to date are strongly interdisciplinary: combining insights from sociology, political science, public administration, public management with science and technology studies with a core focus on social policy. Her work explores social policy broadly and diversely (e.g. analysing institutions, processes and outcomes) and most of her publications are on topics of politics and policies of activation, labour market, family and youth, ageing and social care and EU social policy. Methodologically, Minna has a broad interest and skillset including a diverse range of methods (incl. comparative methodologies, various qualitative research methods, statistical analysis, mixed methods, experimental approaches).

Currently, with a central focus on comparative social policy in the technological era, Minna seeks to answer relevant questions of social policy research in the digital age. In her work, she combines three distinguished, yet closely connected areas to study welfare states: 1) the comparative study of institutional transformations of welfare states (systemic processes and underpinnings of politics), 2) the study of social, organisational, political implementation of social policy and the (re)construction of socio-technical systems and 3) the study of effects and outcomes of social and technological challenges on society and citizens (especially on inequality). 



- master thesis supervision (Social Policy)

- Graduseminaari (sosiaalipolitiikka) (2021-2022, 2022-2023)

- Sosiaalipolitiikan klassikot (2021-2022)

- Sosiaalipolitiikan nykykeskustelut ja käytännöt (2022-2023)

- Nordic Welfare Societies (2022-2023)

Fields of expertise

Keywords/fields of research and supervision

- comparative welfare states and systems

- social security (particularly unemployment, social assistance, disability benefits)

- social services (employment services, activation and reintegration services, youth and family services, elderly care)

- reconciliation of work and family, family policy, youth policy, gender

- digitalization and automation, algorithmic systems, digital welfare states

- adoption, use and acceptance of technologies, cocreation/coproduction

- policy process, policy cycle, policy design, policy framing/narratives/ideas, policy formulation, policy implementation, policy diffusion and transfer, policy evaluation

- collaborative governance, multiprofessional collaboration, service networks and partnerships, integrated services, integrated activation 

Selected publications

Please see research portal below for the publications and activities