Stefan Szücs

Senior Lecturer

Department of Social Work
Visiting address
Sprängkullsgatan 23
411 23 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 720
405 30 Göteborg

About Stefan Szücs

Background Stefan Szücs is PhD and Associate Professor in Political Science at University of Gothenburg, Social Science Faculty. His thesis on democratic leadership (1998) is published within the framework of the international research program Democracy and Local Governance (DLG), and he has since then continued his research and teaching on governance, management and politics of public sector coordination and reform.

Research interest/Competence

Frontline workers, politicians, administrators, managers, citizens in surveys on perceptions, values and coping tied to professional discretion, reorganization, new organizational forms, innovation, and social work coordination within the policy fields of health and care, economic growth, democracy and public administration.

Completed research projects

  • 1998-2001 Work, public management, and democracy: Local public sector working life (Council for Working Life Research)
  • 2000-2003 Democracy and local governance in transition? A Swedish and European Comparative Study (The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation)
  • 2003-2005 Public sector employees in innovative municipals (The Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities)
  • 2006-2009 Urban innovation and local variation in long-term sick leave (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FORTE)
  • 2006-2009 QUALITY: Quality of life in a changing Europe (EU, 6th Framework Program)
  • 2007-2010 Local-regional collaboration on innovation and economic growth (VINNOVA, Sweden's Innovation Agency)
  • 2009-2011 Public sector managers' efficiency, organizational conditions, and health (VINNOVA, Sweden's Innovation Agency)
  • 2011-2014 Pathways to Healthy Organizations: Sustainable Public Sector Managerial Change (AFA Insurance)
  • 2013-2015 Strategic coordination for frail older persons with complex needs of health and social care (The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences)
  • 2015-2019 Frontline workers and overload: Survival strategies in the Swedish public sector (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FORTE)
  • 2014-2019 SUSTAINABLE WORKFORCE (EU, European Research Council, 7th Framework Program).
  • 2017-2019 The social service agencies that became auditees: On the relevance, use and consequences of Performance Indicators (PI) in the municipal social services (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare, FORTE)

Current research projects, Head of research

  • 2018-2021 Sustainable Quality Coordination: How to coordinate governance of social services and health care for frail older persons (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FORTE's national government special program Research on the quality, organization and processes of welfare, incl. an extended research mission during 2021 related to covid-19, ageing and integrated care)
  • 2022-2025 Cooperation capacity and quality in ageing: A longitudinal study of integrated care (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FORTE's call/program Cooperation Between Health and Care Providers – Supporting Ageing with Equality, Participation and Dignity 2021)

Teaching and tutoring

  • Doctoral studies level (postgraduate): Quantitative methods (SO30004) course director, examiner (2019, 2022); Theories and perspectives in social work (2017); Doctoral student tutor (2 passed, from start to exam (1 lic.), 2 previous, No current, 1 Reading group, 2 Examining committees)
  • Master level: Research theories and methods (SW2373), course director, examiner (2015-2017); Organization, collaboration, profession and power (SW2232), course director, examiner (previous); Leadership and management in social work (SW2333), course director, examiner (previous)
  • Advanced level: Organization and management in social work (SQ5174), course director, examiner (ongoing since 2014; Psychosocial work (SQ5172), teacher (previous)
  • Commissioned education development: "How and why students learn (better) through case method. Learning processes during five semesters" Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg
  • Political Science: Public Administration and Policy, and Comparative Politics courses at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg (1994-1988, writing PhD thesis period)

Commissions and assignments

  • 1999 The National Government Commission on Swedish Democracy
  • 2001 The National Government Commission on the Swedish Constitution
  • 2003, 2005, and 2008 University of Gothenburg's Working Life Barometer (survey planning, analysis, and publication of reports, UGOT)
  • International Political Science Association’s (IPSA) Research Committee Local-Global Relations
  • International Sociological Association’s (ISA) Working Group Sociology of Local-Global Relations
  • European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR), Local Government, Panel Chair: New Public Governance Implementation (2014)
  • Swedish Social Work Forum's planning group (FORTE, UGOT, Gothenburg Region, GR)
  • Reviewer for Social Science Research, Scandinavian Political Studies, and various Swedish Journals
  • Reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Routledge, and various Swedish book publishers of educational/scientific publications
  • Steering Committee Member of U-GOT KIES (University of Gothenburg's Centre on knowledge-intensive innovation ecosystems)

Main publications Szücs has published in Governance, Local Government Studies, European Planning Studies, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Journal of Integrated Care, and various Swedish journals. His most recent international book publications after Democracy in the Head (Doctoral Dissertation), include Local Elites, Political Capital and Democratic Development: Governing Leaders in Seven European Countries (first editor, Springer, 2006), Quality of Life and Work in Europe: Theory, Practice and Policy (on quality of life and satisfaction with work-life balance, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and Investments in a Sustainable Workforce in Europe (Routledge, 2019)

5 most recent papers (international conferences, 2017-19)

  • 2019 Why leaders use Performance Information (PI) and how it influences their governance: A study on Swedish local governments' social services and prospects for agile governance (EGPA Annual Conference, Permanent study group II Performance and accountability in the public sector, Queen's University, Belfast 11-13 September)
  • 2019 Coping with citizens and stress: Interaction strategies during public service delivery within health care, the police and social work (3rd Street-Level Bureaucracy Conference, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, June 11-13)
  • 2018 Explaining collaborate performance success: The case of multiple constituencies' coordination bodies for frail older persons in Sweden (EGPA Annual Conference, Permanent study group II Performance and accountability in the public sector, Univesité de Lausanne, IDHEAP, September 5-7)
  • 2018 Politics of horizontal public sector coordination: The case of frail older persons policy in Sweden 2008-18 (ECPR General Conference, Section 31: Governance in close proximation to the people? Contemporary local government and politics, Panel P281: New challenges in the social policy domain, Universität Hamburg, August 22-25)
  • 2017 Multi-level coordination bodies of democratic governance for older persons in Sweden (NOPSA XVIII Conference, Workshop 10 Public management reforms for transboundary policy challenges: Coordination for integration, crisis organization and beyond, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, August 8-11)