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Wim van Oorschot is Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Sociology of Leuven University (BE). His research and teaching regard the sociological and cultural analysis of welfare states and social policy. He is co-founder and honorary president of ESPAnet, the Network for European Social Policy Analysis, initiator and director of EDAC, the European Data Centre for Work and Welfare, and Honorary Professor at the Centre for Comparative Welfare Research CCWS of Aalborg University, Denmark. Wim van Oorschot published on poverty, local social policy, welfare state legitimacy, solidarity and equity in social protection, social capital and informal solidarity in European welfare states, the history of social security, disability benefits, activation of unemployed people and on occupational welfare arrangements. At present his research focuses on the relationships between culture and welfare. His recent work is mostly based on national and international survey data (European Values Study, European Social Survey), and an important part is funded through external contracts. He has carried out studies commissioned by the European Commission, the national governments of The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and the UK, and various welfare institutes. As a social security expert he is a consultant for various organisations and institutions.