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Elke Heins
Dr Elke Heins
Lecturer in Social Policy; Deputy Director (PG Research) of the Graduate School
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
2.06 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 650 4049
Comparative social policy Labour Market Policy unemployment insurance fuzzy set/QCA welfare reform trade unions Social Determinants of Health Health policy Politics of health Europeanization Third Sector European social policy social investment well-being

Biographical Statement

I am a graduate of the University of Mannheim and have a PhD in Political and Social Science from the European University Institute in Florence. 

My principal research interests are comparative welfare state policies, in particular labour market and unemployment policy as well as well as the politics of health and wellbeing.

Selection of Publications

Journal articles

"'Best of both worlds'? A comparison of third sector providers in health care and welfare-to-work markets in Britain", Social Policy & Administration 50(1): 39-58, 2016 (with H. Bennett).

"A new era of European integration? Governance of Labour market and social policy since the sovereign debt crisis", Comparative European Politics 13(1): 8-28, 2015 (with C. de la Porte).

"The role of wage bargaining partners in public sector reform: The case of primary care contracts", in European Journal of Industrial Relations 17(4): 381-396, 2011 (with R. Parry).

"Review of the Evidence of Third Sector Performance and Its Relevance for a Universal Comprehensive Health System", in Social Policy and Society 9 (4): 515-526, 2010 (with D. Price, A.M. Pollock, E. Miller, J. Mohan and J. Shaoul).

"Politiques sociales et devolution des pouvoirs : l'exemple ecossais" Informations sociales 3/2010 (n° 159): 38-45, 2010.

"The commercialization of GP services: a survey of APMS contracts and new GP ownership", in BJGP 59 (567), 2009 (with A.M. Pollock and D. Price).

"Social Policy in Scotland since Devolution", in Social Policy and Society 8(3), 419-430, 2009.

"Flexicurity and Welfare reform", in Socio-Economic Review 7 (2), 305-331, 2009 (with J. Clasen).

"Voluntary unemployment insurance and trade union membership - investigating the connections in Denmark and Sweden", in Journal of Social Policy 37(3), 433-451, 2008 (with J. Clasen).

"The market in primary care", in BMJ 335 (7618), 475-477, 8 September 2007 (with A.M. Pollock, D. Price, E. Miller and G. Watt).


Social Policy Review 29. Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2017, Bristol: Policy Press (co-edited with J. Hudson and C. Needham).

The Sovereign Debt Crisis, the EU and Welfare State Reform, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016 (co-edited with C. de la Porte).

Book chapters

"The Anglo-Saxon welfare states: still Europe’s outlier – or trendsetter?", Chapter 14 in P. Kennett and N. Lendvai-Bainton (eds), Handbook of European Social Policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2017, pp. 393-421 (with F. Dukelow).

"The aftermath of the Eurozone crisis: towards fiscal federalism?", Chapter 8 in D. Dinan, N. Nugent and W. E. Paterson (eds), The European Union in Crisis, London: Palgrave, 2017, pp. 149-166 (with C. de la Porte).

“Depleted European social models following the crisis: Towards a brighter future?”, in C. de la Porte and E. Heins (eds), The Sovereign Debt Crisis, the EU and Welfare State Reform, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 207-221 (with C. de la Porte).

"Game change in EU Social Policy: towards more European integration", Chapter 10 in M.J. Rodrigues and E. Xiarchogiannopoulou (eds), The Eurozone Crisis and the Transformation of EU Governance. Internal and External Implications, Farnham: Ashgate, 2014, pp. 157-170 (with C. de la Porte).

"Doctors in the driving seat? Reforms in NHS primary care and commissioning", Chapter Three in G. Ramia, K. Farnsworth and Z. Irving (eds), Social Policy Review 25. Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2013, Bristol: Policy Press, 2013, pp. 47-65.

Other publications

"Welfare and well-being – inextricably linked", pp. 13-15 in L. Foster, A. Brunton, C. Deeming and T. Haux (eds), In Defence of Welfare 2, Bristol: Policy Press, 2015 (with C. Deeming).

"Flexicurity - a state-of-the-art review", Working Papers on the Reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe 01/2009, Edinburgh: RECWOWE Publication, Dissemination and Dialogue Centre (with J. Clasen).


Semester 1 

European Social Policy  - PG (course convener) 

Semester 2

Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy  - Honours level (contributing lecturer)

Comparative Analysis in Social and Public Policy - PG (contributing lecturer)

Politics of the Welfare State - UG (course convener)

Social Determinants of Health - PG (contributing lecturer)

Online Teaching

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Social Wellbeing, delivered via FutureLearn.

first course run: 26 September - 16 October 2016. Please visit FutureLearn for further course runs.

PhD students

Cristina Asenjo, 'Empowerment and Wellbeing: A Comparative Study of Asset and Rights Based Approaches to Local Development in the UK' (ESRC funded).

Nikos Kanellopoulos, ‘The Discursive Construction Of Higher Education Reform During The Crisis (2011-2015): The Case Of Greece’ (funded by the Onassis Foundation).

Blanca Kao, 'How, and to what extent, are health implications taken into account in the decision-making processes within the Scottish local government? A Multiple-Case Study of Scottish Local Authorities'.

Nebojsa Martinovic, The effects of economic recession on household roles regarding employment in “familialistic” welfare states.

Knowledge Exchange

Parliamentary Fellow, Beltane Public Engagement Network (January-June 2016)

Good Lives And Decent Societies (GLADS) (PI): Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded series of knowledge exchange events designed to inform the work of policy makers and third sector practitioners regarding indicators for the measurement of well-being (together with Jan Eichhorn, John Frank and Neil Thin at the University of Edinburgh and a range of external partners). Details can be found here