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Political Economy of Welfare State


Credits: 4 ECTS

First semester

Elective Courses




In many countries, traditional ‘politics’ have been organized around the following question : “What responsibilities should the state assume in order to provide for its citizens?” In order to answer this question, a set of institutions and policies were devised that have come to be known as the Welfare State (WS).  The course seeks to provide students with an overview of the scholarship on the emergence, the expansion and the transformations of WS.  Moreover, using a comparative approach, we will explore the organization and the content of these institutions and social policies in various countries and regions. We will also address debates regarding the key challenges facing WS today.  In the process of covering these topics, students will become familiar with a set of discussions on the relationship between WS and civil society, WS and class, and WS and gender. Students with a background in political science and/or sociology will be able to take advantage of this course as it will explore the interplay between  social, economic and political factors.  Finally, even though the course will cover various policy areas, its main focus will be on unemployment benefits and social policies. 


There are 3 requirements for the course: 

  • attendance & participation (20%) 

  • class presentation (20%) 

  • final term paper (60%)