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Sebastian Sirén


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Works at Swedish institute for social research
Telephone 08-16 23 12
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 F
Room F 838
Postal address Institutet för social forskning 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a PhD-candidate in sociology at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), with a masters degree in Political Science from Uppsala University. I am involved in the development of the Social Policy Indicator Database (SPIN), a comparative and longitudinal database concerning central welfare state institutions in countries across the world. I have been particularily engaged in the development of indicators on family policy institutions, including public childcare and parental leave policies, lately within the European network "InGRID-2: Integrating Research Infrastructure for European expertise on Inclusive Growth from data to policy". I am also a student affiliate to the Stockholm University Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE).


Comparative sociology (Sociology I & II)


In my dissertation I will seek to broaden the scope of comparative social policy analyses beyond the restricted group of rich industrialised nations in the global north that have been the focus of most previous research in the field. The aim is to study the causes and concequences of social policy institutions in a development context. The first study explores the driving forces behind variations in social spending across a global sample of non-western democracies, with special attention to the role of party politics. Subsequent studies will further explore the consequences of social policy in a development context.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2020. Sebastian Sirén (et al.). The Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy, 627-655

    This chapter argues for the importance of developing theoretically grounded family policy indicators, with emphasis on childcare/ECEC indicators. The chapter critically introduces the conceptual frameworks underpinning the most prevalent currents in comparative research, and then presents the most prominent empirical approaches utilized in existing studies. Next, it maps the availability of comparative data on the most widely used indicators and discusses the main sources from which this data originates. The final section concludes by pointing toward some challenges for the current research agenda, along with some tentative solutions. In particular, we argue for the need to engage in a research agenda that integrates family policies, including social care services, as essential components of social citizenship.

  • 2020. Sebastian Sirén. Governance. An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions

    The evolution of public social expenditures displays divergent patterns across non-western countries. This exploratory article argues that in order to understand the domestic sources of this divergence, institutional and structural explanations should be complemented with an actor-oriented perspective. Analyses of the role of party politics in non-OECD democracies, through multivariate fixed-effect regressions using data from 46 countries between 1995 and 2015, reveals a robust positive association between shifts towards Left party government and increases in total public social expenditures, also when controlling for structural and institutional factors. This association however seems potentially conditional on sufficient levels of economic growth. While indicating an impact of partisanship, further research is arguably needed regarding the origins, organization and policy outputs of parties in more recently democratized countries, as well as regarding the conditions under which the ideological orientation of parties in government are actually consequential.

  • 2019. Sebastian Sirén.
  • 2017. Laure Doctrinal (et al.).

    This InGRID deliverable is part of Work Package 22 on ‘Innovative solutions for comparative policy indicators and analysis'. The purpose is to provide an inventory of core social policy databases and indicators for comparative research. We map 26 databases and infrastructures that fruitfully can be used in comparative research to analyse the causes and consequences of social policy. Each database is compared according to a set of characteristics, including type of data (expenditures, institutional indicators, beneficiary statistics, socio-economic/income surveys, microsimulation), policy areas included (cash benefits: family benefits, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, pensions, work-accidents, social assistance, and disability/invalidity/survivors benefits; publicservices: child care, health care, elder care, and active labour market policy), countries and years covered, as well as interval for updating of data. Nearly all databases specialise on distinct parts of social policy, and data on cash benefits are some what more frequent than data on public services, particularly when institutional indicators are in focus. Compared with data on social expenditures and beneficiaries, institutional indicators are based on social policy legislation and thus independent of changes in social needs and population characteristics.

  • 2015. Laure Doctrinal, Kenneth Nelson, Sebastian Sirén.

    In this InGRID deliverable we develop a new approach to the measurement of income replacement in out-of-work benefits. We present the Out-of-Work Benefits (OUTWB) dataset, which is part of the SPIN database at the Swedish institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University. The OUTWB dataset includes new synthesise d measures on overall net replacement rates and progres-siveness of income replacement in out-of-work benefits. Our synthesised measures of income replacement are based on data from the OECD Benefits and Wages project

Show all publications by Sebastian Sirén at Stockholm University

Last updated: September 14, 2021

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