Stein Ringen is a Norwegian political scientist and an authority on states, governance and democracy. He has published scholarly books and other works on topics ranging from the Scandinavian welfare state to dictatorship in China, and on inequality, poverty, income distribution, public policy and comparative government. His journalism has appeared in the Financial Times, the Washington Post, the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Aftenposten (Oslo), OpenDemocracy, the Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere.
He is emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, and has been an associate of Nuffield and St Antony’s Colleges in Oxford. Before joining the University of Oxford he was Professor of Welfare Studies at the University of Stockholm. He has held various research and government posts in Norway, including as Assistant Director General in the Ministry of Justice and Head of Research in the Ministry of Public Administration. He has held visiting professorships and fellowships in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Brno, Barbados, Jerusalem, London, Lillehammer, Sydney, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and at Harvard University. He has been a consultant to the United Nations, and a news and feature reporter with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist and historian Mary Chamberlain.