Welfare State and Gender under Undemocratic Rule

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 

Mainstream welfare state literature overwhelmingly focuses on Western liberal democracies and often lacks gendered analysis. In the light of recent “third wave of autocratization,” this course aims at critically analyzing the formative mechanisms, ways of decision making, and outcomes of welfare states under democratic backsliding and undemocratic rule. Applying a critical perspective, the course will address inequalities of social class, gender and ethnicity as mitigated or sometimes fostered by social policies.

The first half of the course outlines the most important concepts related to democracy, autocracy, the welfare state, and critical perspectives on analyzing these. The second half of the course presents global case studies of welfare reforms in countries that experienced democratic transition and backsliding recently or have never counted as liberal democracies on the first place. In one or two of the classes guest speakers, specialized on some countries and/or fields discussed, are invited.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will learn about the most important mainstream and critical theories and concepts of (de)democratization and the welfare state. By understanding social policy reforms in autocratizing countries, students will understand the complex relation between democracy and welfare, and the possible consequences of an authoritarian turn to social rights. Through the case studies students will be able to apply theories to real-world social policy reforms. The guided and gradual process of writing the final essay enables students to carry out critical and gendered analysis of a particular welfare state reform in a chosen country.