Born in Prague on September 2nd, 1948, he studied philosophy, mathematics, political science, and sociology at the Masaryk University in Brno. He worked as a researcher at the Department of Complex Modelling, Sportpropag, and later in the Institute of Social Medicine and Organisation of Health Services in Prague, until 1989. He received his Ph.D. degree in Management Theory in 1989 from the University of Economics, Prague. Than he studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science (receiving a M.Sc. in European Social Policy, 1991). In 1990 he joined the newly established Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague. He habilitated there in 1992 as Associate Professor of Sociology. In 1998, he became Full Professor of Public and Social Policy at the new study program he had co-founded. He served as the Director of the Institute of Sociological Studies at the same Faculty (1994-2003) and he leaded the Center for Social and Economic Strategies there as well (2000 – 2018). In the meantime, he took part in numerous professional fellowship and exchange programs, including Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships (1992), at the Oxford University (1993-1994), at the Konstanz Universität (1997-2000) – where he acted as a Permanent Guest Professor between 2002 and 2008, at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (1998), at the Central European University in Budapest (1998-2000), and at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlín (2014). He is a member of several academic and editorial boards.
In the past, he studied teleonomic qualities of differentiated social actors, processes of cultivating and utilising human potential, and determinants of health and health policy. At present, his research concentrates on the processes of public policy formulation and implementation in the Czech Republic (and particularly the regulatory functions of the market, government, civic sector and media), on the problems of public administration reform, on European integration processes, on the development of visions and strategies for the Czech state, and on the Czech pension reforms. As an author/co-author and editor/co-editor, he published 86 scientific books and seven textbooks, 90 articles in scientific journals, and about 120 research papers and policy project reports.
He was elected Chairman of the Czech Sociological Association in 1995 (Vice-Chairman, 1994 and 1996) and member of the Steering Committee of the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee) in 1997. In 2000-2002, he acted as the elected President of this nonprofit association, whose honorary member is from 2017.
He served as an advisor to Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic (2002-2004, 2014-2017) and to Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs (1998-2006). He worked as the First Vice-Chairman of the Research and Development Council of the Government of the Czech Republic (1999-2004) and a member of its Committees for Social Sciences (2004-2005) and Social Sciences and Humanities (2008-2010). He acted as the Chairman of the Expert Committee on Pension Reform, Czech Republic (2014-2017).
He was awarded the Sri Chinmoy International Honour “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart”, the NISPAcee Alena Brunovska “Award for teaching excellence in public administration”, the Silver Memorial Medal of Charles University for the achievements of its development, and the Commemorative Medal for the care of the memorial of the family Potůček – wind millers on the land register of municipality Žeranovice.