Department of Political Science


POLS0028 Welfare Politics

Course Code: POLS0028

Course Tutor:
Dr Roland Kappe (Department of Political Science)

Length: One Term (Spring Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours (10 lectures and 10 seminars)

Assessment: One presentation (15%), one research design (15%) and one 4,000 word research paper (70%)

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS)

Module Level: L6 (Advanced)

About this course

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the basic structure of the modern welfare state and the major theoretical approaches that explain its politics. To this end, the class first outlines the historical development of the European welfare state and provides a discussion of the philosophical underpinnings in terms of scope of the government, well-being, happiness and risk.

In the second part of the class, competing theories that seek to explain the creation and change of the welfare state are discussed, focusing on social structure, power resources, party politics, the role of institutions and international influences. Finally, specific policies in the fields of labour market regulation and social policy, health care and education systems are analysed in the light of the theoretical models introduced before.

By the end of the course, students will have gained a better knowledge of the development and structure of the modern welfare state across countries. Students will also have learned a set of theoretical tools that help understand past, current and future debates about social policy, health care and education.