Research Projects

These are some projects in which researchers of the 'Family, Welfare and Work' programme are involved:


The objective of MULTILINKS has been to investigate how changing social contexts, from macro-societal to micro-interpersonal, affect social integration, well-being and intergenerational solidarity across different European nations. Debates on ageing societies predominantly focus on the circumstances of the old. Our approach built from three key premises. First, ageing affects all age groups: the young, the middle-aged, and the old. Second, there are critical interdependencies between family generations and between men and women. Third, one must recognize and distinguish analytical levels: the individual, dyad (parent-child, partners), family, region, historical generation, and country.

Several researchers of the 'Family, Welfare and Work' programme were involved in the MULTILINKS team that examined: i) multiple linkages in families (e.g. transfers up and down family lineages, interdependencies between older and younger family members); ii) multiple linkages across time (measures at different points in time, at different points in the individual and family life course); iii) multiple linkages between, on the one hand, national and regional contexts (e.g. policy regimes, economic circumstances, normative climate, religiosity), and, on the other hand, individual behaviour, well-being and values. More information on the project, including publications, can be found here on the project website.


INSPIRES (Innovative Social Policies for Inclusive and Resilient Labour Markets in Europe) is a long-term project co-funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7. The main goal of the INSPIRES project is to contribute to the resilience and inclusiveness of labour markets in European countries. The benefits of INSPIRES are manifold due to the fact that combating unemployment and promoting inclusion have always been an important policy goal for the European Union.

For this purpose, the project will deliver evidence on the emergence and impact of innovations in labour markets, employment and social policies by analyzing large-scale datasets like the European Labour Force Survey, EU-SILC, LIS, and global data provided by ILO and OECD and new qualitative and quantitative data. Researchers of the "Family, Welfare and Work" programme have focused on the labour market position of vulnerable groups, such as youth, ethnic minorities, and disabled people. They are also involved in the coordination of the project.

More information on the project, including publications, can be found on the project website.

Families and Societies

What will families look like in the future? Are existing social- and family policies compatible with changes in family patterns? These and related questions are addressed in the large-scale integrating project "FamiliesAndSocieties - Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations". The collaborative research project is financed in the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (6.5 million euros in EU contribution; grant no. 320116). Launched in February 1, 2013 it will continue until January 31, 2017.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships, and life courses in Europe.
  • To assess the compatibility of existing policies with family changes.
  • To contribute to evidence based policy-making.

The project will extend our knowledge on how policies promote well-being, inclusion and sustainable societal development among families. Researchers of the "Family, Welfare and Work" programme are leading a work package within the project entitled "Intergenerational linkages in the family: The organization of caring and financial responsibilities". The main objective of this work package is to investigate how policy contexts shape the organization of caring and financial responsibilities for young and old family members, and consequently their well-being. Caring pertains to practical help, personal care and emotional assistance.

More information on the project, including publications, can be found on the project website.

The Value of Vaccines in the Eye of the Beholder

The Value of Vaccines in the Eye of the Beholder is a joint research project by Erasmus Center for Economic Sociology (ECES) at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Crucell. The project will provide a thorough analytical overview of the recent developments of and demands on the vaccine field.

Focusing on the changing perceptions of interrelated groups of actors (investors, NGO's, intermediaries, established and new vaccine firms) it will examine the historical and current dynamics of the field by combining various disciplinary perspectives (sociology, anthropology, psychology and economics). As such it will provide a better knowledge of the perception dynamics about vaccines and vaccination and the underlying changes in the relationships between the most significant actors in the field.

More information on the project, including publications, can be found here:

Globalization and the Education Gap in Nationalism

The research project 'Globalization and the Education Gap in Nationalism. Assessing the Impact of Globalization-Induced Insecurities on Anti-Immigrant Attitudes, Protectionism and Euroscepticism in the Advanced Economies' has been awarded a Veni grant by NWO. It develops a new explanatory framework that links globalization to the anti-immigrant attitudes, protectionism and Euroscepticism of less-educated natives in the advanced economies. Although these sentiments are widely held to reflect the nationalism of the 'losers of globalization' it remains unclear how this exactly comes about. Most importantly because there is a blind spot for the possibility that globalization-induced cultural insecurities - i.e. perceiving society as unpredictable, disorderly, and meaningless - might underlie this nationalism, in addition to, or instead of, their often stressed globalization-induced economic insecurities.

Assessing the impact of globalization on the nationalism of the less educated, hence, calls for simultaneously taking globalization-induced economic and globalization-induced cultural insecurities into account. This research will do so, by analysing longitudinal data-sets on the Netherlands (1970-2010) and OECD countries (1981-2009). More information on the project, including publications, can be found on the site of grant provider NWO and the personal website of project leader Dr. Jeroen van der Waal.