Welfare States in the Current Era: Origins, Issues and Challenges - Not offered in AY 2022-23

Undergraduate Program Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

The course aims to examine welfare states and current welfare policies in a comparative perspective. In order to achieve this, different approaches on the relationship between welfare, market and state are analyzed. In the first part of the course fundamental concepts, origins and typologies of welfare state are reviewed. This part tries to answer the questions of what a welfare state is, why it exists and how they differ across countries. The second part covers a variety of issues such as active and passive labor market policies, pensions, health care, work and life balance, and redistribution. Given the complexity of welfare state, we are not able to cover all of the policies but the course captures the highly relevant areas and provides a comparative perspective. In the final part of the course, welfare state challenges are examined to understand the impact of globalization, migration and post-industrialization on social policy. At the end of this part we will be able to understand the extent and reasons of retrenchment, liberalization and privatization of social expenditures. Throughout the class both theoretical and empirical material are covered.

Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of this course, the students are expected to: understand the basic terms in welfare state research, have sufficient knowledge to apply these concepts in their research, formulate researchable questions, to be able to follow and understand the literature related to the subject matter, be able to follow theoretical and empirical debates about social policy, acquire knowledge of methodologies and assumptions in the study of globalization and the welfare state, gain skills for presenting and critically discussing scholarly work by others.


Grades will have three components:

  • Attendance and active participation (10 %)
  • Two short pieces of written coursework (each 25 %)
  • Final group project (40 %)