Linda Hantrais FAcSS is Emeritus Professor of European Social Policy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Loughborough University, UK, a Visiting Professor at the LSE, and Chair of the UK Academy of Social Sciences’ International Advisory Group. Her research interests span international comparative research theory, methods, management and practice, with particular reference to public policy and institutional structures in the European Union. She has coordinated several European research projects on these topics. Her recent publications include articles, papers, blogs and monographs on the social dimensions of Brexit for EU and UK social policy, and on comparisons of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the European Union.
Her international activities have involved membership of international research advisory committees, particularly in France including: 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). She 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 Inclusion, and the Council of Advisors of Population Europe. She has also undertaken consultancies for the British Council, ESRC, European Commission’s DG Research, European Science Foundation and European Universities Association.
Research interests and outputs
Her 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 others.
Between 2010 and 2012, she served as an academic consultant, based at the LSE Centre for International Studies, for an ESRC award under their Researcher Development Initiative. The project, which was conducted in cooperation with the Social Research Association, aimed to develop and deliver a programme of international social research methods training workshops across the UK and abroad. The workshops were delivered at venues in the UK and France. They 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, she 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 Academy as a research resource.