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Sociology Research


Gabor Scheiring is a multidisciplinary political economist combining theoretical innovation with empirical rigour to reduce social hardships and to advance human development, health and democracy. Gabor regards social research as a tool that can help people make better sense of social dilemmas, understand the dynamics of social change and design solutions to real world problems.

He has received his degrees from the Central European University (MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology, 2005), Budapest Corvinus University (MA in Sociology and Economics, 2007), and the University of Cambridge (PhD in Sociology, 2018). After spending half a year in Washington DC as a Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy he returned to Cambridge as a political economy research fellow.

Gabor has two research areas: the political economy of democratisation and the social determinants of health. In his doctoral thesis and several related journal articles he investigated the impact of economic restructuring and deindustrialisation on health, using multilevel survival modelling based on a novel dataset encompassing individual, town and company data, as well as qualitative in-depth interviews. Currently he is doing research on the political economy of democratic backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe comparing Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Parallel to his studies in the 2000s he was a nationally and internationally active and passionate member of green and global justice NGOs. In 2010 he was elected as an MP, and served as a member of the Committee for Economic Affairs of the Hungarian Parliament and also as a member of the board responsible for the development of economic policy of a Hungarian left-green party he co-founded.

As an economic sociologist he has published extensively on the political economy of health, the political economy of democratisation, and on the role of social movements in the policy process. He was working as a research associate at the Department of Sociology in Cambridge affiliated to the PrivMort project led by Professor Lawrence P. King between December 2015 and September 2017. In 2006 he was involved in a UNRISD research project assessing the social impact of the privatisation of water. Between 2008 and 2010 he worked as a research fellow at the Institute for Political Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences investigating how social movements influence the policy process. 

Research Interests

Gabor’s current research uses Central and Eastern Europe as a strategic research site to analyse how the model of post-socialist dependent capitalism affected the chance of reaching democratic consolidation. His hypothesis is that the varying strength of illiberalism in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic might be explained by the differences in the demobilisation and rightward turn of the working middle classes and by the differences in the polarisation of the economic elite. He tests his hypothesis relying on a multidisciplinary comparative approach combining quantiative and qualitative methodologies. Gabor has extensive experience both in qualitative fieldwork, in quantitative analysis (multilevel modelling, survival analysis, panel regression) as well as in building databases for quantitative research.

Research Projects

2014-2017 - PRIVMORT: The Impact of Privatisation on the Mortality Crisis in Eastern Europe (EU FP7-IDEAS-ERC), University of Cambridge. Tasks: carrying out systematic review of the empirical literature; building a large, unique company ownership database as well as a settlement level database on socioeconomic indicators; carrying out fieldwork, doing interviews in industrial towns; involvement in multi-level quantitative analyses measuring the association between privatisation and mortality.

2014-2016 - Democracy and Capitalism in Post-Socialist Hungary, Institute for Political History, Hungary. Tasks: providing a review of the theoretical literature on democratisation, creating a unique relational elite database measuring the changing interlinkages of the
members of the political and the economic elite.

2008 - JUSTIS WP (EU FP7): Fear of Crime in Hungary and Europe, Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Tasks: carrying out literature review and writing up research results. Results were published as a working paper and as a book
chapter in an edited volume in English.

2006 - Eulobby: Greens and European Public Policy, Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Tasks: doing literature review, empirical content analysis of NGO lobbying and its impact on the policy process in Hungary and in

2006 - Social Policy, Regulation, and Private Sector Water Supply: Hungary (UNRISD, Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences). Tasks: collecting data on privatisation, providing review of the theoretical literature, carrying out quantitative
analysis of the social impact of water privatisation, book editing.


2008-2009 Critical Development Studies, College for Advanced Studies in Social Theory, Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary (tutor)
2007-2008: Green Political Thinking, College for Advanced Studies in Social Theory, Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary (tutor)

Key Publications - Books

Scheiring, Gábor. 2012. Hungary Back on Track: An Alternative Budget Proposal for Hungary (In Hungarian: Magyarország talpra áll: Az LMP alternatív költségvetési javaslata). Budapest: Ökopolisz Alapítvány.

Scheiring, Gábor and Zsolt Boda (eds.). 2011. Globalisation and Development: Critical Development Studies Reader (In Hungarian: Globalizáció és fejlődés: Kritikai fejlődéstanulmányok szöveggyűjtemény). Budapest: Új Mandátum.

Scheiring, Gábor and Zsolt Boda (eds.). 2011 Globalisation and Development at the Semi-Periphery (In Hungarian: Globalizáció és fejlődés a félperiférián). Budapest: Új Mandátum.

Scheiring, Gábor and Benedek Jávor (eds.). 2009. Ecology and Politics: Green Political Theory Reader (In Hungarian: Oikosz és Polisz: Zöld Politikai Filozófiai Szöveggyűjtemény). Budapest: L’Harmattan.

Scheiring, Gábor and Zsolt Boda (eds.). 2008. Economize Wisely! The Politics of Privatisation and Public Services (In Hungarian: Gazdálkodj okosan! A privatizáció és a közszolgáltatások politikája). Budapest: Új Mandátum & Védegylet.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Irdam, Darja, Gabor Scheiring and Lawrence King (2015): “Mass Privatisation”, pp. 488-507 in Jens Hölscher and Horst Tomann (eds.), Palgrave Dictionary of Emerging Markets and Transition Economics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Scheiring, Gabor, Bence Tordai and Miklos Sebok (2015): “Basic Income as a Realist’s Transformative Strategy”, pp. 103-116 in Conny Reuter (ed.), Progressive Structural Reforms: Proposals for European Reforms to Reduce Inequalities and Promote Jobs, Growth and Social Investment. Brussels: Solidar & Oficyna.

Wydawnicza Aspra. Papp, Gabor and Gabor Scheiring (2009): “Fear of Crime and Confidence in Justice in Hungary”, pp. 93-115 in Anniina Jokinen, Elina Ruuskanen, Maria Yordanova, Dimitar Markov és Miriana Ilcheva (eds.), Review of Need: Indicators of Public Confidence in Criminal Justice for Policy Assessment. Helsinki: Criminal Justice Press. 

Boda, Zsolt, Gabor Scheiring, David Hall and Emanuel Lobina (2008): “Hungary”, pp. 178-202 in Naren Prasad (ed.), Social Policies and Private Sector Participation in Water Supply: Beyond Regulation. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. 

Boda, Zs and G Scheiring. 2006. “Privatisation of Water in the Context of Transition”, pp. 95-101 in Daniel Chávez (ed.): Public Services Yearbook. Amsterdam, Montevideo: Transnational Institute.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Stefler, D, A Azarova, D Irdam, G Scheiring, M Murphy, M McKee, L King, M Bobak. 2018. "Smoking, alcohol and cancer mortality in Eastern European men: Findings from the PrivMort retrospective cohort study: Smoking, alcohol and cancer mortality in Eastern European men", International Journal of Cancer, First published: 26 March 2018. 

Scheiring, G, D Stefler, D Irdam, M Fazekas, A Azarova, I Kolesnikova, J Köllő, V Popov, I Szelényi, M Marmot, M Murphy, M McKee, M Bobak and L King. 2018. "The Gendered Effects of Foreign Investment and Prolonged State Ownership on Mortality in Hungary: An Indirect Demographic, Retrospective Cohort Study", The Lancet Global Health 6(1):e95-e102. 

Scheiring, G, D Irdam and L King. 2017. “The wounds of post-socialism: a systematic review of the social determinants of mortality in Hungary”, Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, Online First, 17 November 2017. 

Azarova, A, D Irdam; A Gugushvili; M Fazekas; G Scheiring; P Horvat; D Stefler; I Kolesnikova; V Popov; D Stuckler; I Szelenyi; M Marmot; M Murphy; M McKee; M B and L King. 2017. “The effect of rapid privatisation on mortality in mono-industrial towns in post-Soviet Russia: a retrospective cohort study”, The Lancet Public Health, 2(5): e231-e238

Irdam, D, A Gugushvili, A Azarova, M Fazekas, G Schering, D Stefler, K Doniec, D Lane, I Kolesnikova, V Popov, I Szelenyi, M Murphy, M McKee, M Bobak, M Marmot, L King. 2016. “Mortality in Transition: Study Protocol of the PrivMort Project, a multilevel convenience cohort study”, BMC Public Health, (2016)16:672.

Scheiring, G. 2016. “Sustaining Democracy in the Era of Dependent Financialization: Karl Polanyi’s Perspectives on the Politics of Finance”, Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics, 2(2): 84-103.

Scheiring, Gabor (2007): Barbarians at the Open Gates: Public Sociology and the Late Modern Turn, The American Sociologist 38(3): 294-308. 

Key Publications - Other

Scheiring, Gábor. 2016. “The Rise of Illiberalism from East to the West: A Lesson About Class for the Left”, Political Critique, 12 November 2016.

Scheiring, Gábor. 2016. “The European Left at a Crossroads”, Political Critique, 27 October 2016.

Oláh, Noémi and Gábor Scheiring. 2016. “Is a Progressive Alliance a Progressive Solution?” Bright Green Blog, 16 July 2016.

Grants and Projects

Scheiring, G. 2009-2012: Cambridge European Trust bursary: GBP 24,000; 

Scheiring, G. 2009-2010: Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust bursary: GBP 5,000.

Scheiring, G. 2008: Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship (SYLFF): HUF 1,080,000.

Scheiring, G. 2007: University of Aberdeen, “Civil Society, Social Capital and Democracy” Post-Graduate Summer School scholarship.

Scheiring, G. 2006: Schumacher College, International Development Course scholarship.

Scheiring, G. 2006: Scholarship to present “Eco-politics and the political anthropology of environmentalism in Hungary” at the Social Movements Studies Group, University of North Carolina (Chapel-Hill): USD 1,000.

Scheiring, G. 2004-2005: CEU Alumni Scholarship: HUF 270,000

Reagen-Fascell Democracy Fellowship, National Endowment for Democray, October 2017 - March 2018

Political Economy Research Fellowship, ISRF, April 2018 - March 2019

PhD Supervisor

Research Groups & Affiliations


Apr 2018 – Mar 2019 Political Economy Research Fellowship, Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF); Host institution: Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK

Oct 2017– Mar 2018 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC

Sep 2009 – Aug 2012 Full PhD Scholarship, Cambridge European Trust, University of Cambridge, UK

Sep 2008 – Aug 2009 Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship, The Tokyo Foundation - The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund; Host institution: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Political Science, Hungary

Sep 2004 – Aug 2005 Alumni Scholarship, Central European University, Hungary

2003 Outstanding Thesis Award, Hungarian Ministry of Environment, Hungary

Job Title:
ISRF Political Economy Research Fellow
Full CV / Publications: