School of Social and Political Science

Ingela Naumann

Job Title

Professor of Comparative Social Policy

Photo of Prof Ingela Naumann

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Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

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Research interests

Research interests

Comparative social policy, welfare history, early childhood education and care, Education Policy, governance, religion and social policy, gender, Nordic welfare states and society, historical institutionalism

My research focuses on the comparison of welfare systems across space and time, with particular reference to childcare, early years and education, and the institutional and cultural contexts that shape policy and governance around these issues. Another focus of my research is on the role of political mobilization and the intersection of social cleavages of religion, class and gender in welfare state formation and welfare reform politics. My work is grounded in a macrosocial and historical institutionalist perspective.

I am currently Principal Investigator on the UKRI Covid-19 Rapid Response project 'Childcare and Wellbeing in Times of Covid-19: Developing Crisis-Resilient Care Solutions', a collaboration between Edinburgh University and the Scottish Community Development Centre. My recent projects inclulde the exploration of religious roots of social trust in North-European welfare systems (with funding from ReNEW -'Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World, Nordic Research Council Excellence Hub); the EU-funded FP7 project "Families And Societies - Changing families and sustainable societies" (2013 - 2017); 'Religion and the Welfare State in Northern Europe' (NordWel Network for Excellence - 'The Nordic Welfare State - Past and Future', funded by the Nordic Research Council), and international research collaborations on the economisation of care in Europe (e.g. EU-FP6 Nework of Excellence RECWOWE, 2009-2012).  I have also led research tenders for the Scottish Government and reports for the Royal Society of Edinburgh on early years policy and practice in international perspective.

If you are interested in being supervised by Ingela Naumann, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:



  • DiplSoz (Humboldt-University Berlin)
  • PhD (European University Institute Florence

Prior to joining Social Policy at Edinburgh University I was a researcher at the Freie Universität in Berlin. I received my PhD from the European University Institute (Florence) after having studied at the Humboldt-University Berlin, The New School for Social Research (New York) and the University of Zurich.

External Roles

I am co-editor of the Journal of Social Policy (together with my colleagues Jan Eichhorn and Jay Wiggan), and Executive Committee member of the Social Policy Association (SPA). I am a member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (under the Royal Society of Edinburgh), and the Royal Society Education Committee. I am active in a series of public engagement contexts, such as The Child's Curriculum and Nordic Horizons.

Teaching and Supervision

I am convenor of the Social Policy Honours dissertation course, the UG course European Social Policy, and the Honours and PG courses Governing the Social, and teach on Politics of the Welfare State and Social Inequality and the Life Course

Current PhD students

Miriam Vishniac: The Hidden Problem: Experiences of Menstruation for Incarcerated Women in the US and the UK.

Ran Chen: Towards a Better Understanding of Gender Equality in East Asian States: A Comparative Study of China and South Korea.

Donna Shields

Joanna Sakali

Completed PhD students

Tom Kinney: Cultural Capital and Early Childhood (ESRC funded).

Mark Wong: More opportunities for 'disengaged' youth: assessing the role of governance networks in encouraging young people's social participation in Scotland and Hong Kong.

Marc Grau i Grau: The Benefits of Multiple Roles for Working Fathers: Evidence from Catalonia.

Alzbeta Bartova: Can gender equality explain variation in fertility outcomes in Europe? (ESRC funded).

Caitlin McLean: The role of institutions in women's employment patterns in the UK and the US. (University of Edinburgh funded)

Hannah Zagel: Timing of single motherhood: implications for employment careers in Great Britain and West Germany. (University of Edinburgh and DAAD funded).

Catherine-Rose Stock-Rankin: Hiding in plain sight? Reproductions of inequality in long-term care in Scotland (University of Edinburgh funded).

Jannis Johann: Cultural policy as social policy: a cross-national analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom (funded by the Anglo-German Foundation).


'Why Swedes Trust the State and Scots Don't: An Exploration of the Diverse Protestant Roots of Modern Welfare Systems', (2020), Journal of Historical Sociology, 33(4), (with Lindsay Paterson).

'Rescaling Education Policy: Central-local Relations and the Politics of Scale in England and Sweden', (2020), Policy & Politics, 48(4): 583-601 (with Colin Crouch),

‘Early Childhood Education and Care Policy: Beyond Quantity and Quality, for Human Development (2018)’, in C Trevarthen, A Dunlop, J Delafield-Butt (eds.), The Child’s Curriculum, Oxford University Press, 325-355.

‘Internationalising early childhood education, or ‘embedding’ international children into local contexts? (2017), in C Maxwell, U Deppe, H Kruger & W Helsper (eds.), Elite Education and Internationalisation – from the Early Years into Higher Education, Palgrave Macmillan. 

'Access to Childcare in Europe: Parents' Logistical Challenges in Cross-National Perspective (2017), Social Policy and Administration. DOI: 10.1111/spol.12242

'Universal childcare and maternal employment: The British and the Swedish story’ (2015). in L Foster, A Brunton, C Deeming & T Haux (eds), In Defence of Welfare 2. Policy Press, pp. 79.

Access for All? Sozialinvestitionen in der frühkindlichen Bildung und Betreuung im europäischen Vergleich (2014), Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaften, vol. 17, no. 19, pp. 113-128.

'Childcare, Gender Equality and what else we could envision for Society' (2014), in: Kezia Dugdale (ed.) Every Step. The essays, Edinburgh, pp. 15-20.

‘Religion and the welfare state in Northern Europe’, with Markkola, P. (2014), Church and State, vol 56, no. 1, Special Issue, editors I. Naumann & P. Markkola, pp. 1-12.

‘Church-state relations in the Swedish People’s Home, 1920s and 1930s’ (2014), in Church and State, vol 56, no. 1, Special Issue, editors I. Naumann & P. Markkola, p. 36-59,

The Welfare State Reader, 3rd revised edition (2013), co-edited with Chris Pierson and Frank Castles, Polity Press.

'Childcare Politics in the 'New' Welfare State: Class, Religion, and Gender in the Shaping of Political Agendas' (2012), in: Bonoli, G & Natali, D (eds): The Politics of the New Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

’Towards the Marketisation of Early Childhood Education and Care? Recent Developments in Sweden and the United Kingdom’ (2011), Nordic Journal of Social Research, 1 (1).

‘When a family is not a ’family’: the value of confusion in cross-cultural research’, in: Jamieson, L., Simpson, R. and Lewis, R. (Eds) (2010): Researching Families and Relationships: Reflections on Process, Palgrave Studies in Family & Intimate Life, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Childcare Politics in the West German and Swedish Welfare States from the 1950s to the 1970s, Doctoral Thesis, European University Institute, Florence, 2006.

’Child care and feminism in West Germany and Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s’ (2005), ESPAnet/JESP Young Researcher Prize Essay, Journal of European Social Policy, 15 (1), 47-63.

’Deutsch-türkische Identitätskonflikte: Die Debatte zur Visumpflicht für türkische Kinder in der deutschen und türkischen Presse’ (German-Turkish identity conflicts: the debate about visas for Turkish children in the German and Turkish media), in: Klaus Eder et al. (2004): Die Einhegung des Anderen. Türkische, polnische und russlanddeutsche Einwanderer in Deutschland, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 159-206.

Policy and Research reports

Early Learning and Childcare - Scoping Report (2018), Royal Society of Edinburgh, Educatio Committee.

Social Policy in the European Union. Policy paper (2016), Royal Society of Edinburgh.

QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Social Policy (2015), Quality Assurance Agency, UK.

Policy Briefing on 'Integrated ECEC Systems' (2014). Scottish Commission on Childcare Reform.

Naumann, I., McLean, C., Koslowski, A., Tisdall, K., Lloyd, E. (2013), "Early Childhood Education and Care Provision: International Review of Policy, Delivery and Funding", Scottish Government Publication.

’A child-centred investment strategy: lessons from Sweden’, The Child’s Curriculum, 2010, Edinburgh.

‘Towards The Marketisation of Childcare? A Comparison of Recent Childcare Reforms in Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Portugal’,  RECWOWE report, WP02: Care Group, task 2: Tensions related to care work in European welfare states, EU FP6 RECWOWE network, 2009.

Explaining Diversity of Childcare Provision in Europe: Political Tensions, Political Alliances and Social Cleavages’; RECWOWE report, WP02, task 2: Tensions related to care work in European welfare states, EU FP6 RECWOWE network, 2009.

with C. Crouch: ’The Changing Governance of Schools: England and Sweden in Comparison’, Final research report, Centre for British Teaching/Warwick Governance of Schools project, 2008.

Book Reviews

Review of Kimberley J. Morgan: Working Mothers and the Welfare State. Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States, Stanford CA, 2006: in Journal of European Social Policy (2008).

Review of Åsa Lundqvist: Familjen i den svenska modellen, 2007, Nordeuropa Forum (2008).

Review of Christine Kuller: Familienpolitik im föderativen Sozialstaat. Die Formierung eines Politikfeldes in der Bundesrepublik 1949 – 1975 (family policy in the federal welfare state – the formation of a new policy field in the FRG, 1949-1975), , Munich 2004. In: H-Soz-u-Kult, 09.06.2005, <;.

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Thursdays 1:00-2:00pm