Social Sciences

The research area covers a number of different disciplines including politics, sociology, economics, law and political economy. In line with the SDC framework the social science theme is dominated by a cross-disciplinary approach focusing on two major themes: Welfare and Innovation Management.


A broad group of political economists, sociologists, economists, and political scientists focus on comparing welfare regimes, institutional competitiveness, and social innovation. This theme is divided into five areas in which several research projects are emerging.

1) Welfare regimes, the organisation of welfare, institutional competitiveness, and social innovation
2) The labor market and the tension between social security and economic efficiency
3) Welfare reforms and the mixed economy of welfare
4) Business regimes and social innovation
5) Building national competitiveness through public sector regimes

Innovation Management
The theme Innovation Management is approached from a cross-disciplinary perspective and focuses on three areas:
1) Innovation Systems
2) Innovation related to business systems in a cross-cultural perspective
3) Company level innovation and innovation management

PhD students
SDC PhD students play an important role in the research collaboration. They all work with both a Danish and a Chinese supervisor, do research in both countries and contribute to teaching the Master’s programmes at SDC in Beijing. This close connection provides the PhD students with a unique opportunity to establish personal and professional relationships and bring Danish and Chinese research environments closer together.

Principal Coordinators

Stine Haakonsson
Associate Professor
Department of Business and Politics
Copenhagen Business School
Phone: +45 38 15 31 24
Zhao Hong
Professor and Vice Dean
Management School of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

To discuss proposals for research activities, which can strengthen SDC's activities within the research area or the related Master’s programmes, please contact the Principal Coordinators.

Master's programmes

Social Science PhD Course: Rethinking Classical and Modern Theory and Methodology

Rethinking Classical and Modern Theory and Methodology: theorizing and method sensitivity in Social Science (2-6 December 2019, Beijing, China)

This PhD course aims at providing the PhD students with appropriate skills, knowledge, and capacity to choose and develop the best possible theoretical and methodological framework for their projects. Furthermore, the course will teach the students how to theorize. Very few students know the art of theorizing. The course will stress the importance of the classical tradition within social science theory and methods, but the project is to rethink and modernize the classical legacy in order to conceptualize problems and challenges in the 21st century. We need a new mode of theorizing combined with more coherent methodologies. Finally, the course will present some fairly new middle-range theories, and some methods. Throughout the whole course the PhD-students will work on their projects in relation to the theories and methods discussed in class.

Course content

The course is structured around five issues:

- What is theory, what is theorizing and how do we increase the ability to theorizing?

- We read and discuss some classical texts within organization studies, public administration, comparative political economy, and innovation studies – how is theorizing understood here?

- We discuss problems and challenges when we want to do comparative studies
(unit of analysis, comparing what?, diachronic comparison, synchronic comparison)

- We read and discuss two types of more recent theory development: 1) substantialist theories (institutional theory and rational choice) 2) relational theory (Bourdieu, Elias, Abbott). How do they theorize? What is theory? Are they all empirical sensitive?

Contact information
For course related enquiries, please contact Course Coordinator Lars Bo Kaspersen

For SDC related enquiries, please contact the Principal Coordinator Stine Haakonsson

Registration deadline

Register HERE

PhD students

View Andreas Michael Østerby-Jørgensen's profile at
Andreas Michael Østerby-Jørgensen
Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University
Topic: Perceptions of Social Justice in China
Starting date: 1 December 2018
View Alexander Linyu Qi Chen's profile at
Alexander Linyu Qi Chen
Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen
Topic: A Critical Spatial Perspective on China's Uneven Transition Towards Post-Industrial Development
Starting date: 1 December 2018
View Annesofie Lindskov's profile at
Annesofie Lindskov
Department of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University
Topic: Innovation and Hyper-Competition in a Global Context
Starting date: 1 December 2018
View Alexander Ahrenkiel Bendt Støvenbæk's profile at
Alexander Ahrenkiel Bendt Støvelbæk
Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University
Topic: Studies of culture and learning in bi-/multicultural higher education learning environments
Starting date: 15 September 2018
View Mikkel Rønnow Mouritzen's profile at
Mikkel Rønnow Mouritzen
Department of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University
Topic: Transnational Talent Mobility in Sport and Innovation
Starting date: 1 August 2018
Find Raphael Mateus Martins' profile on
Raphael Mateus Martins
Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University
Topic: Determinants of Sino-Danish Markets for Technology
Starting date: 1 December 2017
Find Magnus Andersen's profile on
Magnus Andersen
Department of Political Science, Aalborg University
Topic: The Nordic countries and the development of childcare institutions in China
Starting date: 1 November 2017
View Kasper Ingeman Beck's profile at
Kasper Ingeman Beck
Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School
Topic: Reforming China’s fragmented state sector: provincial reform pathways and macroeconomic effects
Starting date: 1 September 2017
View Lars Oehler's profile at
Lars Oehler
Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School
Topic: Business and Politics of China in Globalizing Sustainable Energy Industries
Starting date: 1 September 2017
View Primoz Konda's profile at
Primoz Konda
Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University
Topic: Catching-up process in electric vehicle industry in China
Starting date: 1 September 2017
View Benjamin Cedric Larsen's profile at
Benjamin Cedric Larsen
Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School
Topic: China 4.0 – Strategic Emerging Industries – Between Regulation and Innovation
Starting date: 15 April 2017
View Anestis Keremis's profile at
Anestis Keremis
Department of Business & Politics, Copenhagen Business School
Topic: The Political Economy of Corporate Social Responsibility in China
Starting date: 1 February 2016
View Birgitte Egeskov Jensen's profile at
Birgitte Egeskov Jensen
Center for Comparative Welfare Studies, Aalborg University
Topic: The Demographic and Social Impacts of an Ageing Society in China
Starting date: 1 September 2016
View Birte Hansen's profile at
Birte Hansen
Department of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University
Topic: Exploring Women’s Prospective Contribution to China’s Growing Entrepreneurial Economy and Innovative Development
Starting date: 15. August 2016
View David Schulzmann's profile at
David Schulzmann
Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University
Topic: Building global mandate for foreign R&D centers in China
Starting date: 15 March 2015