Katharina Wesolowski has a PhD from Uppsala University and defended her thesis "Maybe baby? Reproductive behaviour, fertility intentions, and family policies in post-communist countries, with a special focus on Ukraine" in sociology on 17 April 2015. During her PhD studies from 2010 to 2015 she was enrolled at BEEGS (Baltic and East European Graduate School) at Södertörn University. Katharina is also associated with SCOHOST (Stockholm Centre for Health and Social Change) at Södertörn University and with the Stockholm University Linnaeus Center SPaDE (Social Policy and Family Dynamics). Her thesis studies family policy and its possible influence on fertility in a larger comparative setting including 33 countries in the analysis and, moreover, different aspects of reproductive behaviour of women in Ukraine. Link to thesis: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243140

Young-hwan Byun earned his BA at Yonsei University, Korea, and will defend his doctoral thesis in political science at the City University of New York in September 2015. Young-hwan’s doctoral dissertation research focuses on middle class decline (or income polarization), a distinctive phenomenon from general income inequality. In his cross-national longitudinal analysis on 22 OECD countries for the period between 1970s and 2010, Young-hwan empirically established the middle class decline in terms of its population share and income security, based on data from the Luxembourg Income Study. His research also offers an alternative political explanation on why some industrialized democracies have experienced dramatic decline of middle class, whereas others have experienced much smaller decline or even expansion of middle class between 1980 and 2010. His explanation challenges existing theories—globalization theory and technological change theory that attribute middle class decline to a common development in industrialized countries. Young-hwan’s post-doctoral research will focus on comparative social policy analysis on newly developed and developing countries, using newly generated datasets by SOFI, such as Social Policy Indicator Database (SPIN) and the East Asian Social Security Dataset (EASSD). In addition, he will further develop his doctoral research theme on middle class, particularly with focus on the changing relationship between middle class and welfare states, the political and social consequence of middle class decline, and social and labor market policies that prevent income polarization.

Peter Fallesen received a PhD in sociology from the University of Copenhagen in February 2015. His dissertation examined the life courses of foster care children. He is now a researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit and a member of the Centre for Stratification Research, University of Copenhagen. He has previously held visiting positions at Yale University and UC Berkeley. His research focus is on family demography, social inequality, and applied econometrics. Fallesen’s work has already appeared in leading scientific journals in different fields. He is currently involved in international collaborations with top researchers in the fields of child welfare, criminal justice, and social inequality.